National Organization for Marriage

Kristin Gourlay/RIPR

The Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to vote Tuesday on legislation that could legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island.  The issue has never previously come this far in the state Senate.

The 10-member Judiciary Committee plans to vote on two separate bills. One would grant marriage rights to same-sex couples through the legislature. The other one has broader religious exemptions and would make legalizing same-sex marriage subject to a statewide vote.

Depending on what happens with the two bills, the legislation could move to the Senate floor as soon as Thursday.

A group opposing same-sex marriage says it’s confident that the Rhode Island Senate will defeat legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry. The bill passed handily Thursday night in the House

Just minutes after the historic vote in the House, speaker Gordon Fox urged Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed to pass the bill in her chamber. There’s no word when the senate judiciary committee will take it up, and Paiva Weed opposes the legislation.