When Rhode Islanders head to polls next week, they will face an important issue that has not drawn much attention. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay looks at the Constitutional Convention question.
Our small state is holding a big election on Nov. 4. Statewide and federal offices are all being contested. Every General Assembly member confronts voters, who will also elect mayors in the Rhode Island’s two largest cities, Providence and Warwick.
Did we say the talk was cancelled? We should have said postponed.
That was the message from Providence College Provost Hugh Lena, who sent an email to the college community on Wednesday. The note says the college is working to reschedule same-sex marriage supporter John Corvino of Wayne State University, who has agreed to appear alongside same-sex marriage opponent Sherif Girgis, a doctoral student and law student from Princeton.
Today we celebrate the glorious history of the American labor movement. While unions have a storied past RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what the future holds.
Labor Day in Rhode Island has long been more than a summer’s end holiday. For decades, union leaders and their members have celebrated a movement that assimilated immigrants, fought vigorously for better pay and working conditions and was a fulcrum in the creation of a strong middle class.
Across the Ocean State, same-sex couples are applying for marriage licenses and tying the knot. On Thursday Rhode Island and Minnesota became the 12th and 13th states in the country to legalize gay marriage. The bill was signed into law back in May, making Rhode Island the last state in New England to legalize gay marriage.
The state Senate is set to vote Wednesday on bills to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. Advocates are continuing to press their case before the vote.
Supporters were overjoyed when the Senate Judiciary Committee approved two same-sex marriage bills. The head of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, Ray Sullivan, says advocates aren’t taking anything for granted.
“Our work is not done, we continue to work the phones, knock doors, make calls, do all the things we’ve been doing the last several months that have led us to this moment,” said Sullivan.
As the hours dwindle to tomorrow’s Senate Judiciary Committee consideration of same-sex marriage, it appears advocates of gay unions have an advantage, say State House sources. What is still unknown is what will happen when the issue hits the Senate floor, which could come as early as Wednesday, or more likely, Thursday.
What is clear this time around is that the marriage equality campaign has done a better job this time around than two years ago, when the General Assembly approved civil unions in a compromise that pleased neither side.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing Thursday afternoon on two competing bills to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. One key area of debate is the extent of exceptions for clergy and small businesses in recognizing same-sex marriages.
A few years back, when lawmakers in states such as Vermont and Massachusetts approved gay marriage, the political chatter was always focused on whether a vote supporting marriage equality would kill a legislative career due to a backlash against those who approved gay unions.
Those who supported gay marriage in legislatures were rarely ousted from office for their votes.