The Rhode Island General Assembly approved Rep. Arthur Handy’s marriage equality bill 51 - 19. The bill will now be considered by the state Senate. According to Dan McGowan, a WPRI.com Reporter, passage in the state Senate is not guaranteed.
“It was important that this House of Representatives stood and finally said we stand for equality, we stand for justice, we stand for tolerance in the shadow of our great founder Roger Williams,” said House Speaker Gordon Fox.
The bill now heads to the Senate, where a contentious battle is expected to unfold. Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, said Thursday it could be months before the Senate takes up the bill.
Paiva Weed, D-Newport, has indicated she will not block a vote out of the Senate Judiciary Committee although she opposes same-sex marriage. Judiciary Committee Chairman Michael McCaffrey, D-Warwick, is also against the legislation, but advocates say they are confident the committee will allow the bill to go before the full Senate.It blows my mind in 2013, that politicians can stand before a reporter or their constituents, and say that they oppose equality.
The Civil Rights Act is a law that prohibits discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex and national origin. At some point in the near future, sexual orientation and gender identity will be added to the Civil Rights Act. These marriage equality votes are the moral equivalent to voting for or against the Civil Rights Act, and a legislator who fails to support marriage equality is endorsing homophobia and discrimination.
And that’s completely unacceptable.
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