Teresa Paiva Weed

Senate President Terest Paiva Weed
courtesy of Teresa Paiva Weed

Same sex marriage has won overwhelming approval in the Rhode Island House. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what’s next in this historic debate.

If you don’t believe the political landscape in Rhode Island has undergone a seismic shift, you weren’t at McKim, Mead and White’s State House for the historic House vote on same sex marriage.  The measure won overwhelmingly on a 51 to 19 tally.

Same-sex marriage legislation has cleared its first hurdle in the Rhode Island General Assembly. The House Judiciary Committee approved marriage equality legislation proposed by Rep. Art Handy, D-Cranston on a unanimous vote. The historic move represents the first time any committee in either RI legislative chamber has approved a gay marriage measure.

Same-sex marriage bill moves to full RI House

Jan 22, 2013
Flo Jonic

A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island has cleared its first legislative hurdle. The House Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly approved the legislation, paving the way for a full House vote later this week.

The crowd assembled for the same sex marriage vote erupted in applause and cheers when the House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to pass the bill on to the full House.  The panel had heard hours of testimony. By the time it came to vote, only Committee chair Edith Ajello had anything left to say.

RI pols and guns

Jan 18, 2013

For once Rhode Island politicians have a chance at being part of the solution. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says even a small State House change on gun violence would resonate with voters.

Ian Donnis

A House Judiciary Committee hearing kicked off Tuesday with testimony from the lead sponsor of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, state Representative Art Handy (D-Cranston). He said it was the eleventh time he has introduced such legislation, but wasn't sure precisely how long similar bills have been filed. Handy said he thought the first was 18 years ago, but his point was really that the time has long since come to grant marriage rights to same-sex couples in Rhode Island.

A report released Tuesday morning by the state Senate and the business-backed Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council uses a color-coded system to assess the state's performance on different economic indicators and recommends a series of steps for improvingits underperforming economy.

Raimondo supports same-sex marriage

Jan 11, 2013

(PROVIDENCE, RI) State treasurer Gina Raimondo has written letters to House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed expressing strong support for the marriage equality bill now in the legislative pipeline.  

The letters read in part: “Marrying my husband Andy 11 years ago was the best decision of my life and we have two beautiful children together. Every Rhode Islander who wants to be in a loving and committed marriage should have the same rights as we do.”  

Fox aims to begin hearings on the bill next week.

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.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) House Speaker Gordon Fox says the time has come for the state Senate to pass a same-sex marriage bill.

Fox, who is openly gay, was joined by his partner as he received the oath of office Tuesday for another term as House speaker.

Fox says Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed hasn’t given him any assurances about the fate of same-sex marriage bill. He says he hopes this is the year for the legislation to move forward.

House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed cruised to re-election in their leadership positions Tuesday while pledging increased legislative attention to trying to boost Rhode Island’s underperforming economy.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) High unemployment, same-sex marriage and the state budget are among the top issues facing the General Assembly as it starts a new session Tuesday.


The Assembly is meeting on New Year’s Day because of a requirement that legislative sessions start on the first Tuesday of the year. Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed says her chamber plans to concentrate on jobs. “Economic development and a focus on turning around Rhode Island’s economy will be the Senate’s single highest priority this session.”

As high unemployment continues to plague Rhode Island, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed says her chamber will focus in the 2013 session on economic development and trying to turn around the state's troubled economy.

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.”

House Speaker Gordon Fox, during a taping this morning of WPRI/WNAC-TV’s Newsmakers, said he plans to call a vote on same-sex marriage early in the next legislative session. While legislative elections this fall could change the composition of the House, Fox believes he has the votes to pass the measure (assuming he wins re-election).

Marriage Equality Rhode Island has released the following statement in response:

Inquiring minds in the state public defenders office and beyond are wondering just what kind of game Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, is playing with Governor Lincoln Chafee’s nomination of Mary S. McElroy to be the state’s chief public defender.

McElroy has stellar credentials and 20 years experience in the public defender’s office.  She would also be the first woman to hold the job.

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