By Anna Peirano
After Washington, Maryland, and Maine voted for same-sex marriage during the last election, Rhode Island may be the next state to say yes to equality in 2013.
Lawmakers in both the state’s House and Senate have expressed their support for legalizing gay marriage.
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed 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 has said he will call a House vote early in the 2013 session.
Paiva Weed has also expressed that she anticipates the legislature will pass amendments that would make legalizing same-sex marriage contingent on a statewide vote.
The largest advocacy group working in the state, called Marriage Equality Rhode Island, issued the following statement in response:
“We are both excited and grateful that the Senate President has decided to schedule a Judiciary Committee vote on marriage equality in 2013, following the House’s expected passage of this historic civil rights legislation. We will continue to actively reach out to legislators on both sides of the aisle and grow our broad coalition of supporters in the House and Senate.
Today’s news is another positive step in the right direction, but we won’t stop until the work of winning equal rights and recognition under the law for all loving, committed couples is complete, with legislation signed into law by Governor Chafee.”