A state Senate bill being filed Wednesday by Senator Frank Ciccone (D-Providence) calls for a statewide referendum to offer an up or down vote on same-sex marriage.
The bill is cosponsored by 10 other senators: Lou DiPalma (D-Middletown0; Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio; William Walaska (D-Warwick); Nicholas Kettle (R-Coventry); James Doyle (D-Pawtucket); Lou Raptakis (D-Coventry); Judiciary Chairman Michael McCaffrey (D-Warwick); Frank Lombardi (D-Cranston); Walter Felag (D-Warren); and David Bates (R-Barrington).
As the wait continues for the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up a same-sex marriage bill, supporters and opponents are continuing grassroots campaigns trumpeting their point of view. One of their points of contention is whether there's a political cost for lawmakers for lawmakers who vote in support of same-sex marriage.
The Newport County Chamber of Commerce has issued a statement recognizing the positive economic impact same sex marriage brings to a community.
While the statement stops short of endorsing marriage equality, it says that same sex marriage could have a substantial economic impact on Newport businesses, particularly the hospitality and wedding industries. The statement ends by saying that Rhode Island is at a competitive disadvantage with our New England neighbors who already have marriage equality.
Students from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design planned to do something different for Valentine’s Day. In an effort to ensure marriage equality in Rhode Island, students planned a rally on College Hill before a march to the Statehouse, where Representative Frank Ferri was scheduled to speak publicly.
Protest organizer Michelle Bailhe says many groups come together in support of marriage equality.
State Senator Harold Metts (D-Providence) joins the Roundtable this week as we discuss same-sex marriage, efforts to better re-integrate offenders once they leave prison, and new appointees to the state Board of Education.
Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, is pouring cold water on one theory making the rounds -- that the House of Representatives will approve binding arbitration as part of a deal for the state Senate to pass same-sex marriage legislation.
The premise is a little funny on its face, since organized labor is a strong supporter of both issues. Still, stranger things have happened in the annals of Rhode Island politics.
State Senator Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket) joins myself, Scott MacKay and Maureen Moakley on the Roundtable this week as we discuss the outlook for same-sex marriage. Other topics include bipartisan support for immigration reform in the US Senate, the State of the City address by Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and state Treasurer Gina Raimondo's mid-term report.
Nesselbush, an openly gay Pawtucket Democrat, points to the political durability of Congressman David Cicilline, House Speaker Gordon Fox, and state Representative Frank Ferri as a sign of increasing public tolerance for same-sex rights.