A dramatic shift to scrap a push to
legalize gay marriage and replace it with civil unions in Rhode
Island could begin as early as Thursday, the Providence Journal
Citing insufficient support, House
Speaker Gordon Fox on Wednesday declared a gay marriage bill stuck in
committee in the Legislature dead. Fox, an openly gay Democrat,
announced he'll alter course and back a civil unions bill instead.
move comes after the Maryland House abandoned a similar bill after
passage in the Senate.
State Representative Peter Petrarca
announced he could introduce the legislation as early as Thursday.
Petrarca said his civil unions bill
would be modeled after similar laws recently approved in Illinois,
Delaware and Hawaii.
“If you look at civil union bills
anywhere in the country, you'll have a really good sense of what
we're going to be blending together,” he said.
Petrarca, a supporter of giving gay and
lesbian couples the right to marry, called a civil unions bill a
effort to legalize gay marriage in New York remains in play.