Senate to Consider Same-Sex Referendum Proposal

Mar 14, 2013

A bill calling for a statewide referendum to decide the fate of same-sex marriage legislation was filed Wednesday in the state Senate. Proposed legislation also offers exemptions for religious officials and small businesses that don’t want to be involved with same-sex weddings.

The bill sponsored by Providence Democrat Frank Ciccone has 10 other sponsors, eight of them Democrats.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a same-sex marriage bill in January. The Senate has slated a March 21st hearing.

Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, a pro-same-sex marriage group, criticized the Senate bill. A spokesman for the group, Ray Sullivan, says calling for a referendum is “an abdication of the most basic responsibility of our legislators.”

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