9:41 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Senate to Consider Same-Sex Referendum Proposal

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.”

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org