While the outlook for same-sex marriage in the state Senate remains a question mark, one influential observer of Statehouse politics expects 2013 to be the year when it will squeak through the chamber.
Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, believes same-sex marriage will pass by a thin margin in the 38-member Senate.
House Speaker Gordon Fox has pledged to call a vote on the issue early in the new session.
With Speaker Gordon Fox offering his most definitive plan over the weekend on plans for voting on same-sex marriage in the House, Election Day will offer clues about where the issue is headed in a few other states.
The conventional wisdom holds that the September 11 primary was, at best, a status quo election for supporters of same-sex marriage. Legislative candidates who back the issue fared far better in the House, after all, than the real battlefield of the Senate. And Senate Judiciary Chairman Michael McCaffrey fended off a challenge by Laura Pisaturo, a gay woman, in one of the primary’s most high-profile legislative races.
Governor Chafee tells the Washington Blade something that’s pretty clear back here in Rhode Island: the matchup between Senate Judiciary chair Michael McCaffrey and Democratic primary challenger Laura Pisaturo is a big one for the same-sex marriage issue. Yet he adds some interesting commentary:
Gay rights advocates have a new arena in which to battle for marriage equality: state ballots.
November‘s general election features same-sex marriage referenda on state ballots in Washington State, Maine, Minnesota and Maryland.
While public opinion on marriage equality has been moving rapidly from con to pro, same-sex marriage has never been approved in the more than 30 state elections in which some incarnation of gay marriage has been up for a vote.