Bills to legalize gay marriage introduced in R.I. House, Senate - ProvidenceJournal
With the introduction on Thursday of same-sex marriage bills in the House and Senate, the battle now begins.
In the House, Rep. Arthur Handy, D-Cranston, introduced his annual bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. The 29 lawmakers cosigning the bill include House Speaker Gordon D. Fox.
As she introduced similar legislation in the Senate, Sen. Rhoda Perry, D-Providence, said she hoped it would get a hearing and vote early in the legislative session.
A mirror of Handy’s bill, it legalizes “civil marriage” between people of the same gender to marry, while specifying that no religious institution would be required to marry same-sex couples if it goes against its teachings.
“We want to get it going early on,” she said. “We want to have debate and a hearing, and we do not want to wait until the end of the year.”
The legislation has strong support in the House, where Fox, who is openly gay, has also expressed his desire for an early vote.