Both Sides Gear Up for Senate Vote on Same-Sex Marriage

Apr 24, 2013

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.

RI Senate will vote on same-sex marriage legislation Wednesday afternoon.

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.

Meanwhile opponents said they are optimistic that the issue will go before a statewide vote. Scott Spear, with the Rhode Island National Organization of Marriage, said he’s hopeful that the full senate will approve amendments putting same-sex marriage up for a referendum. He said Rhode Islanders need time to think about how legalizing same-sex marriage will change the culture.

“It’s a major culture shifting bill, and I don’t that anyone really has given a significant amount of thought to how radical it really is to take an institution as fundamental as marriage and change it like this,” said Spear.

If the Senate approves the same-sex marriage bills, the House could approve them early next week. That would largely be a formality, and Gov. Lincoln Chafee has pledged to sign the legislation.

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