Hundreds of people on Thursday attended a Senate hearing on a proposed gay marriage bill in Rhode Island, the Providence Journal reported.

About 100 or so opponents of the legislation held a rally in the Statehouse rotunda before the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing got underway.

The boisterous rally was led by members of the Rhode Island chapter of the Hispanic Pastors Association. Wearing signs that read “1 Man + 1 Woman = Marriage,” the crowd chanted, “A family is a father and a mother and the children.”

“It's immoral, it's blasphemy,” Suzanne Baptista told Providence-based NBC affiliate WJAR. “Up until eleven years ago, it was illegal and a punishable offense.”

At the hearing, 54-year-old Patricia Baker, who legally married Deborah in Massachusetts five years ago and has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, told lawmakers that she worried about her wife's future.

“When I inquired about survivor benefits for my wife, I was told she would not be eligible because the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage,” she told lawmakers holding back tears.

“I worked all my life for those benefits. We own a house. We pay taxes. But they told me my Social Security benefits would go back into the system when I die. How is she going to keep the house?”

Senator Harold Metts, a Democrat from Providence, also spoke out against the bill: “We cannot marginalize sin. That's the danger … I don't hate anyone, but I do believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

A House panel heard 8 hours' worth of testimony on its version of the bill last month.