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.
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With a Senate Judiciary Committee vote on same-sex marriage legislation expected as soon as next week, the group leading the campaign in favor of legalization says it plans to deploy more than 300 people this weekend to knock on doors and make phone calls.
Ray Sullivan, the head of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, says the stepped-up effort is meant to connect constituents in key Senate districts with their legislators "to carry the message and the banner that it's finally time to pass marriage equality."
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Congressman David Cicilline discusses a range of issues during a visit with Bonus Q+A, including increasing manufacturing in Rhode Island, a Democratic proposal to raise the minimum wage, sharp rhetoric from North Korea, and more.
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Legislation that legalizes same-sex marriage in Rhode Island remains under consideration in the state Senate. Supporters want the General Assembly to approve same-sex marriage; opponents are backing a bill with broad exceptions that would make the issue subject to a statewide vote. Exactly when the Senate will vote on these bills remains unclear. Yet both sides are relying on grassroots campaigns to tip the outcome in their favor. These efforts could determine whether Rhode Island changes its status as the only New England state that has not yet legalized same-sex marriage.