Thu March 24, 2011
AFL-CIO, Newport Democratic City Committee back same-sex marriage
By IAN DONNIS
Providence, RI – The push for same-sex marriage legislation has gained two new supporters, including one of the state's most prominent unions.
The Rhode Island AFL-CIO announced its support of the same-sex marriage bill after a recent vote of its executive committee. The union's president, George Nee, calls same-sex marriage a fundamental civil rights issue.
Also supporting the bill is the Newport Democratic City Committee. That's noteworthy since Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed - who is from Newport - remains a key question mark on the same-sex marriage issue.
Newport Democratic City Committee chairman Bud Cicilline says he thinks supporting the legislation is consistent with Democratic values.
"In matters of social justice, we believe that everyone should be treated with equality and dignity and fair consideration, so the vote was basically representing that principle that we think is very important to uphold," he says.
Cicilline says he hopes the Newport Democratic committee's vote sends a message to Paiva Weed and other legislators from that city.
Opposition to the bill has been led by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence and the National Organization for Marriage.
The outlook for the same-sex marriage bill remains far from certain. For now, the legislation remains in the House Judiciary Committee.
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