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Start Of New Legislative Session Brings Marriage-Equality Debate To Rhode Island

MERI-logo3As the Rhode Island General Assembly kicks off its 2013 session today, state lawmakers are gearing up for a  debate on same-sex marriage. Openly gay House Speaker Gordon Fox (D-Providence) has called for an early vote on the issue, and  a bill is expected to be introduced by state Rep. Arthur Handy on Thursday.

Fox abandoned marriage-equality legislation in 2011 when it became clear there weren’t enough votes in the Senate. (The state passed a comprehensive civil-unions measure instead.)

A bill could have a better shot this term, though, as the November elections changed the makeup of the Assembly, reducing the number of Republicans to just 11 out of 113. In addition to Fox, there are three other openly gay members of the Rhode Island General Assembly: Sen. Donna Nesselbush (D–Pawtucket) and Reps. Frank Ferri (D–Warwick) and Deb Ruggiero (D–Jamestown).

If gay marriage does come to the Ocean State, it will be in line with all the other states in New England. Maybe they could, like, secede or something.

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jan 1, 2013
Tagged: ,
  • 8 Comments
    • Ken
      Ken

      If it is true that 11 of of the 113 Assembly members are Republicans, that’s 12 too many. Time to elect more non-Republicans.

      Jan 1, 2013 at 9:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      LOLOL… no seceding, please. Just ongoing, continuing successes for the GLBT communities. (I never realized our political power had become so strong this past election). May be we ARE entering the 21st Century socially.

      Jan 1, 2013 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      It will be fun watching TeaPublicans walking back their earlier, oppressive stance. That dip-wad party caught on too late. Now they are paying for it politically. It’s so much fun to watch.

      Jan 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      The microcosm’s of US politics keeps me interested, in it I see direct comparisons and direct correlations with my observations with or UK parliament. Suppose that’s why I’m about fairly regularly.

      The right took a massive lurch to the right a few years ago when UKIP and the BNP [the BNP are the overtly fascist party, UKIP are the racist but don't say it because they are embarrassed by the BNP doing what they only talk about doing in quiet cliques] and they were decimated in the recent elections.

      They have since expanded into jewish and other minority groups as a desperate plea to show they’re not violent bigots, AND they lost even worse last year.

      It really does echo how your politics is going too, how little difference there really is between the US and the UK.

      We have a conservative government [right centrist] that is introducing same sex marriage legislation, you have a government that is right centrist in power in your country doing pretty much the same thing [given states and whathaveya are a different process, but the similarity is striking].

      Shame we haven’t followed on some of the financial decisions of the Obama administration, America is starting to recover, create jobs and grow. The UK is the ultimate proof that the Conservative, or the GOP to you Yanks policies are a crippling failure. We are now in a TRIPLE recession because of it.

      Jan 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      The microcosm’s of US politics keeps me interested, in it I see direct comparisons and direct correlations with my observations with or UK parliament. Suppose that’s why I’m about fairly regularly.

      The right took a massive lurch to the right a few years ago when UKIP and the BNP [the BNP are the overtly f@scist party, UKIP are the r@cist but don't say it because they are embarrassed by the BNP doing in public what they only talk about doing in quiet cliques] and they were decimated in the recent elections.

      They have since expanded into jewish and other minority groups as a desperate plea to show they’re not violent bigots, AND they lost even worse last year.
      It really does echo how your politics is going too, how little difference there really is between the US and the UK.

      We have a conservative government [right centrist] that is introducing same sex marriage legislation, you have a government that is right centrist in power in your country doing pretty much the same thing [given states and whathaveya are a different process, but the similarity is striking].

      Shame we haven’t followed on some of the financial decisions of the Obama administration, America is starting to recover, create jobs and grow. The UK is the ultimate proof that the Conservative, or the GOP to you Yanks policies are a crippling failure. We are now in a TRIPLE recession because of it.

      Jan 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel-Reader
      Daniel-Reader

      Actually this article is mistaken. The Rhode Island existing law is speciously named a Civil Union law when it reality it is not like other Civil Union laws. It should properly be called an extremely weak registered partnership law extending few benefits with some gaping exemptions for hospitals, etc. which is why so few couples have bothered to register under it.

      Jan 1, 2013 at 10:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel-Reader
      Daniel-Reader

      Actually this article is mistaken. The Rhode Island existing law is speciously named a Civil Union law when in reality it is not like other Civil Union laws. It should properly be called an extremely weak registered partnership law extending few benefits with some gaping exemptions for hospitals, etc. which is why so few couples have bothered to register under it.

      Jan 1, 2013 at 10:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      Don’t be mislead by the statistics regarding the party makeup of the Assembly. I live in Rhode Island, and the primary opposition the last time around were conservative Democrats in the Senate led by the Democratic Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed. She is a very conservative Catholic. This time, though, she’s at least agreed to allow a vote in the Senate.

      Jan 3, 2013 at 11:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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