Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin on
Thursday will meet with Rhode Island lawmakers who are considering a
gay marriage bill.
Shumlin served as president of the
Senate when Vermont first legalized civil unions in 2000 and marriage
for gay and lesbian couples in 2009.
Speaking to Vermont Public Radio,
Shumlin said he wanted to share his state's story with lawmakers.
“I just want to go down and add my
voice, tell about our experience, just let them know that at least in
Vermont's case not only can you do the right thing, not only can you
have your state be a place where you treat everybody with the dignity
and equality that they should expect, but that there isn't political
fall out and frankly a lot of people appreciate you for having the
courage to stand up.”
Shumlin is expected to meet with Rhode
Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, a supporter of gay marriage, and with
legislative leaders in Providence. But the Associated Press
reports that Shumlin will not meet with Rhode Island Senate President
Teresa Paiva Weed, an opponent of gay marriage.
The House and Senate have held hearings
on the issue but they have yet to vote on the legislation.