same-sex marriage

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A group of mayors from around Rhode Island called Monday for the state Senate to legalize same-sex marriage. It remains unclear when the Senate will take up two competing same-sex marriage bills.

The advocacy group Rhode Islanders United for Marriage says the mayors of six communities support same-sex marriage: Providence, Warwick, Pawtucket, North Providence, Central Falls and Cumberland. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras calls same-sex marriage a matter of equality and something that will give Rhode Island an economic boost.

Welcome back to my weekly column. A 12-hour legislative committee meeting on the same night when the RI GOP invalidates a vote for chairman? Just another day in the Biggest Little. Your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to it.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

If hundreds of people offer heartfelt arguments over 12 hours to lawmakers whose minds are mostly made up on the controversial issue of same-sex marriage, does it make any difference?

"I don't know," says Senator Lou Raptakis (D-Coventry), one of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that held a marathon hearing on the subject from 5 pm Thursday to 5 am Friday.

Raptakis says 9 of 10 committee members stuck it out to the end.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mar 21, 2013

A Senate committee is scheduled to hear testimony on two competing bills regarding same-sex marriage.  Two lawmakers want to offer in-state tuition rates to all in-state residents, including those which do not have documented status.  These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast.
Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

State Capitol Dome and Independent Man
RIPR file

Critics say a bill calling for a statewide referendum on same-sex marriage would expand discrimination in Rhode Island.

A state Senate bill being filed Wednesday by Senator Frank Ciccone (D-Providence) calls for a statewide referendum to offer an up or down vote on same-sex marriage.

The bill is cosponsored by 10 other senators: Lou DiPalma (D-Middletown0; Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio; William Walaska (D-Warwick); Nicholas Kettle (R-Coventry); James Doyle (D-Pawtucket); Lou Raptakis (D-Coventry); Judiciary Chairman Michael McCaffrey (D-Warwick); Frank Lombardi (D-Cranston); Walter Felag (D-Warren); and David Bates (R-Barrington).

As the wait continues for the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up a same-sex marriage bill, supporters and opponents are continuing grassroots campaigns trumpeting their point of view. One of their points of contention is whether there's a political cost for lawmakers  for lawmakers who vote in support of same-sex marriage.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mar 1, 2013

The final Supreme Court ruling on the California law banning same-sex marriage may affect RI.  Good news for RI's jobless rate.  These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast.

Plus former EDC Director Saul Kaplan is this week's guest on Political Roundtable.  

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

The Newport County Chamber of Commerce has issued a statement recognizing the positive economic impact same sex marriage brings to a community.  

While the statement stops short of endorsing marriage equality, it says that same sex marriage could have a substantial economic impact on Newport businesses, particularly the hospitality and wedding industries.  The statement ends by saying that Rhode Island is at a competitive disadvantage with our New England neighbors who already have marriage equality.

Students plan march for marriage equality

Feb 14, 2013

Students from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design planned to do something different for Valentine’s Day. In an effort to ensure marriage equality in Rhode Island, students planned a rally on College Hill before a march to the Statehouse, where Representative Frank Ferri was scheduled to speak publicly.

Protest organizer Michelle Bailhe says many groups come together in support of marriage equality.

Ian Donnis

State Senator Harold Metts (D-Providence) joins the Roundtable this week as we discuss same-sex marriage, efforts to better re-integrate offenders once they leave prison, and new appointees to the state Board of Education.

Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, is pouring cold water on one theory making the rounds -- that the House of Representatives will approve binding arbitration as part of a deal for the state Senate to pass same-sex marriage legislation.

The premise is a little funny on its face, since organized labor is a strong supporter of both issues. Still, stranger things have happened in the annals of Rhode Island politics.

Welcome back to my Friday column. As always your tips and thoughts are weclome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to it.

Ian Donnis

State Senator Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket) joins myself, Scott MacKay and Maureen Moakley on the Roundtable this week as we discuss the outlook for same-sex marriage. Other topics include bipartisan support for immigration reform in the US Senate, the State of the City address by Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and state Treasurer Gina Raimondo's mid-term report.

Ian Donnis

State Senator Donna Nesselbush says the emergence of openly gay elected officials has paved the way for growing public support of same-sex marriage.

Nesselbush, an openly gay Pawtucket Democrat, points to the political durability of Congressman David Cicilline, House Speaker Gordon Fox, and state Representative Frank Ferri as a sign of increasing public tolerance for same-sex rights.