Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin on
Thursday joined Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee in calling for
the Rhode Island General Assembly to approve a gay marriage bill.
The two gay marriage supporters
appeared at a news conference at the Rhode Island Statehouse, the AP
Shumlin served as president of the
Senate when Vermont first legalized civil unions in 2000 and marriage
for gay and lesbian couples in 2009.
“We went halfway, and halfway on
civil rights isn't good enough,” Shumlin said about civil unions.
The House and Senate have held hearings
on the legislation but they have yet to vote on the legislation.
Shumlin agreed to travel to Rhode
Island at the request of Marriage Equality Rhode Island, a group
lobbying for passage of the bill.
He told legislative leaders not to
worry about political fallout from a vote for gay marriage.
Outside the news conference, opponents,
led by the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for
Marriage, the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, held
a prayer vigil attended by about three dozen demonstrators.
The group's executive director, Chris
Plante, told the AP that he's hopeful that the bill has stalled out