Kathy Kushnir, the executive director of Marriage Equality Rhode Island (MERI), is stepping down from her post, effective May 11, the Providence Journal reported.

Kushnir, an attorney, leaves after leading the group for nearly 3 years.

“I leave Marriage Equality Rhode Island with a great sense of pride and satisfaction knowing we have moved this critical debate forward,” Kushnir said in a statement. “I have every confidence marriage equality will be achieved this year for all Rhode Islanders.”

“The organization is stronger that it has ever been and I am able to step down now without regret, knowing the capabilities and organizational strength that is now in place. I want to thank the board for the incredible opportunity to lead this organization.”

Martha Holt, chairwoman of MERI's board, wished Kushnir “the best of luck in future endeavors.”

But neither woman explained why Kushnir was leaving in the middle of what is considered the most promising legislative session on the issue ever.

Both chambers of the Legislature have held hearings on a bill to legalize marriage for gay couples. Governor Lincoln Chafee and House Speaker Gordon Fox support the proposed legislation.

However, committees in neither chamber have acted, and several lawmakers have voiced their support for civil unions, instead of marriage.