Same-sex marriage bill passes easily in Rhode Island House

Jan 24, 2013

“Just pass it.” That’s what House Speaker Gordon Fox says he wants the senate president to do with the same-sex marriage bill that passed last night and is now heading to the senate. The House vote was not only an historic vote, but an emotional one.

House Speaker Gordon Fox beams from the rostrum shortly after the bill passed.
Credit Catherine Welch

During nearly 90 minutes of debate a handful of representatives spoke out against the measure. Arthur Corvese, a North Providence democrat, was one of them.

“By redefining marriage, by breaking and disregarding the importance of the present parameters, you are not only destabilizing the marital order and by extension civil society,” says Corvese, “you are opening the door to further redefinition.”

Representative Frank Ferri, an openly gay Warwick democrat, pointed to his relationship as proof that all couples provide stability.

Rep. Frank Ferri celebrates after same-sex marriage bill is passed
Credit Catherine Welch

“You can define marriage any way you want, we have a marriage for 32 years, how many have had a marriage of 32 years? Some may be on their second, their third, their fourth, I don’t know,” says Ferri.

Rhode Island already allows civil unions but is the only state in New England that doesn't allow same-sex couples to marry.

The same-sex marriage bill faces a tougher challenge in the senate where President Teresa Paiva Weed is against it.

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