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