Ajello undecided about backing civil unions

PROVIDENCE, RI – House Judiciary Chairwoman Edith Ajello says she remains undecided about whether she'd back civil unions if legislative support for same-sex marriage falls short.

Ajello, a same-sex marriage supporter, says she'd first want to find out how advocates feel about a possible compromise on civil unions. "I'd really want to know whether they saw this as a significant move in the right direction," she says, "or whether they saw this as something that would very much slow down progress by being half a loaf."

Critics say civil unions would perpetuate inequality for gays and lesbians, because they fail to grant many of the same rights as marriage. Some opponents of same-sex marriage support civil unions as a move to preserve what they call traditional marriage.

As the General Assembly resumes its session this week, the same-sex marriage bill remains in the House Judiciary Committee.

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