A gay marriage bill stuck in committee
in the Rhode Island Legislature doesn't enjoy sufficient support to
be approved, House Speaker Gordon Fox said on Wednesday.
Fox, who is openly gay and a supporter
of the legislation, told the Associated Press that opposition
in the Senate is too strong to overcome.
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed
opposes giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.
With less than two months remaining in
this year's legislative session, Fox announced he's altering course
and will introduce a civil unions bill, a move Weed has said she
The failure to approve gay marriage in
the Ocean State comes just weeks after the Maryland
House shelved a similar measure and a Colorado
House committee killed a civil unions bill. Republicans in three
states – North
– have introduced legislation to constitutionally ban gay marriage.
But similar ban efforts in New
Hampshire and Iowa
have been defeated this session. Three states – Delaware,
– have recently adopted civil unions legislation. An
effort to legalize gay marriage in New York remains in play.
In the last week, Kathy Kushnir, the
executive director of Marriage Equality Rhode Island (MERI), decided
to step down from her post, and Morgan Meneses-Sheets, executive
director of Equality Maryland, was
fired by the group's board.