RI On Its Way to Same-Sex Marriage

Apr 24, 2013

Rhode Island is on track to become the 10th state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriages.  The state Senate has overwhelmingly approved two nearly identical bills that would legalize such unions. The bill could go to the governor for his signature as early as next week.

The gallery of the Senate erupted in cheers when the chamber voted by a margin of two-to-one to legalize same-sex marriages.  The House overwhelmingly approved the same legislation in January. Senate bill sponsor Donna Nesselbush of Pawtucket, who is openly gay, called it an issue of historic importance.

Sen. Donna Nesselbush celebrates with a hug the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in the state senate.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

“To each and every senator in this room the eyes of the nation are upon us and we are poised to become the 10th state in the nation to join the force for equality that is sweeping our great nation,” said Nesselbush.

Senator Harold Metts of Providence voted ‘no’, saying the Bible dictates against homosexual marriage. “The Bible is clear,” he said, “God ordained marriage between one man and one woman.”

The companion House and Senate bills, which were approved, mirror each other closely. Any differences will be worked out by legislative leaders in the coming days and the bill could go back to the House for final approval as early as next week. 

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