Civil unions expected to pass

PROVIDENCE, RI – The House Judiciary Committee is expected to pass a civil union bill later that would grant the state rights of marriage to same-sex couples.

The civil union bill enjoys the backing of House Speaker Gordon Fox, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, and Governor Lincoln Chafee.

That explains why the bill is expected to easily pass despite opposition from activist groups with opposing goals.

Same-sex marriage proponents call civil unions a form of second-class citizenship -- in part since they don't confer the federal rights of marriage. Supporters of traditional marriage are opposed, too, because they view civil unions as a path to same-sex marriage.

An amendment for same-sex marriage is expected to be introduced when the civil union bill moves later to the House floor.

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