“After hearing testimony from everyday Rhode Islanders – gay and straight, friends, family, and community leaders – the committee resoundingly endorsed extending the unique protections and recognition of marriage to all loving, committed couples,” said Ray Sullivan, Rhode Islanders United for Marriage campaign director. “This historic, affirmative vote moves us one step closer to finally making the Ocean State a place where all families are valued, respected and treated equally,”
The House is expected to vote this Thursday the 24th and approve the bill.
Voice your support and let your lawmakers know: http://www.riunitedformarriage.org/petition
Governor Chafee has also released a statement declaring his commitment to signing and putting the Bill into effect when it reaches his desk:
I am pleased that, with the House Judiciary Committee’s vote this afternoon, Rhode Island has taken another significant step forward toward marriage equality.
As I noted in my State of the State Address last week, there are a number of reasons why we should bring marriage equality to Rhode Island this year. It is a civil rights issue, it is an issue of basic fairness, and it is an economic development issue. We are at an economic disadvantage with our neighboring states when we do not ‘have the welcome mat out’ for all those who want to work here and contribute to our economy. Rhode Island already lags behind all of our New England neighbors on this issue; we should swiftly remedy that for the good of our economy and the rights of our citizens.
With this afternoon’s vote, we are one step closer to the day when gay and lesbian Rhode Islanders can enjoy the same fundamental rights, benefits, and privileges as all other citizens of our state. It is my hope that that day will come soon. I urge the leaders of the House and Senate to call the roll, and I will be proud to sign this important legislation when it reaches my desk.