Who really killed Gay Marriage in Rhode Island? That’s the question on everyone’s lips in that area of the USA.
Could it have been members of the organization leading efforts to bring nuptials for same-sex couples to Rhode Island actually work with Democratic officials to prevent the passage of a marriage equality bill this year?
A number of sources who asked to remain anonymous have come forward to make these allegations.
Openly gay House Speaker Gordon Fox (D-Providence) shocked LGBT activists on April 27 when he threw his support behind a civil unions bill, noting there was no chance of passing a marriage equality bill due to a lack of support in the House. State Reps. Peter Petrarca (D-Lincoln) and Patrick O’Neill (D-Pawtucket) said, however, there were enough votes to pass the bill in the House.
"Civil unions are unacceptable because they marginalize gay and lesbian couples in very significant ways," said Martha Holt, chair of Marriage Equality Rhode Island. "The General Assembly will essentially be legalizing a two-class system that subject thousands of Rhode Island same-sex couples to discrimination. We cannot support legislation that establishes a second class of citizens in Rhode Island."
With the support of Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Fox, activists were hopeful that Rhode Island would join neighboring Massachusetts and Connecticut in granting full marriage rights to same-sex couples.
Hearings were held on a marriage bill in both chambers in February and March. Congressman James Langevin and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian were among the high-profile political figures who backed the bill. And polls showed the majority of Rhode Islanders supported marriage for gays and lesbians.
Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed (D-Newport) remained opposed to same-sex marriage, although she does support civil unions. MERI has been leading the fight to secure marriage rights for same-sex couples in the Ocean State for the past 8 years. A marriage equality bill has been in the state Legislature every year since 1997, but these measures never made it out of their respective committees for a vote.
Full report : EDGE Boston