Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox
has said a compromise on gay marriage was a difficult decision.
“I made the right decision, as hard
as it is,” Fox
told WPRO radio of his decision to back away from a marriage bill
and push for civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.
Governor Lincoln Chafee signed the
civil unions bill into law, making Rhode Island the fifth state
behind Illinois, Hawaii, New Jersey and Delaware to offer the union.
Fox insisted he's a supporter of gay
marriage: “I will state for the record: I am unequivocally a full
supporter of marriage equality. Haven't wavered from that. Will not
waver from that. And have never done anything, or hopefully said
anything, that gave anyone the impression that I've somehow walked
away from that position, or turned my back on that position.”
The openly gay lawmaker stirred
controversy when he dropped support for a marriage bill in favor
civil unions after it became clear that full marriage would not clear
the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Civil unions, he insisted on Tuesday,
are a “step in the right direction.”
Fox also urged proponents of gay
marriage to “stay focused on the fight.” (The video is embedded
in the right panel of this page.)