Civil union bill passes in House

Providence, RI – A bill to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions has cleared the House on a 62-11 vote. Despite support in the House, the bill's future in the State Senate remains a question mark.

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed is on record as supporting civil unions. But her spokesman says a Senate vote on the House bill hasn't yet been scheduled. Opponents like Christopher Plante of the National Organization for Marriage hope the Senate will make changes to the legislation passed by the House.

"There's no definition of marriage or defense of marriage in this bill, so there are problems with this particular bill, and we'll have to see what the Senate wants to do with that," Plante said.

The civil union bill attracted broad support from proponents of same-sex marriage. They call it an imperfect measure, but also something that will bring new rights for gays and lesbians.

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