same-sex marriage

Ian Donnis

As part of a series of recent interviews with state officials, House Speaker Gordon Fox sat down with RIPR political reporter Ian Donnis this week to discuss jobs, same-sex marriage, and other issues facing the House of Representatives. 

James Baumgartner

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian joins us this week to discuss his political future, Rhode Island's population loss, the outlook on same-sex marriage, RIPTA, and more.

House Speaker Gordon Fox sat down this week with RIPR political reporter Ian Donnis to discuss his legislative priorities for 2013 and other issues, including payday lending.

General Assembly photo

If Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed wanted to leave an opaque outlook for Rhode Island's coming battle over same-sex marriage, she couldn't have done a better job yesterday with her picks for the all-important Senate Judiciary Committee.

Paiva Weed is a canny politician; She certainly has more to gain by leaving room to maneuver on the same-sex marriage issue than by signaling an unexpected green light just a week into the new legislative session.

In a sign of the intensifying battle to come, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin is calling on the General Assembly to not pass a same-sex marriage bill.

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed says there will be a vote on same-sex marriage in the Senate Judiciary Committee this year.

In an interview in her office this afternoon, she said:

Certainly, it will be an issue that will be before the Senate this year .... There will be a vote in Judiciary on the issue.”

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed’s selections to fill two vacant slots on the Senate Judiciary Committee may offer some tea leaves on the outlook for same-sex marriage in that chamber.

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.

Rhode Island has been the stage for contentious debate over same-sex marriage. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the political landscape is shifting in favor of marriage equality.