Chafee: Let’s get marriage equality passed
October 19, 2010
Posted by Peter Cassels on edgeboston.com:
"Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Lincoln Chafee told LGBT supporters this past weekend he would work with legislative leaders to make legal marriage for same-sex couples a reality in the Ocean State.
"Chafee, a former Republican U.S. senator whom Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse ousted in 2006, left the GOP and announced his candidacy for governor as an independent last January.
"'I’d like to work with the speaker of the House and the leader of the Senate,' Chafee told about 20 attendees at a meet-and-greet session in Pawtucket on Saturday, Oct. 16. 'Let’s get marriage equality passed. Let’s get that done quickly.'
"The candidate attended a similar event in Narragansett on Sunday, Oct. 17.
"Activists have worked for more than a decade to persuade Rhode Island lawmakers to pass a bill that would allow gays and lesbians to marry. Momentum has been building in recent years, but legislation introduced thus far has never reached the floor of either chamber.
"Republican Gov. Don Carcieri is adamantly against the freedom to marry and would have likely vetoed a bill if the General Assembly passed one. He’s limited to two terms and will leave office in January.
"Six candidates are running for the State House corner office, but only four-Democrats - Frank Caprio, Jr., Moderate Ken Block, Republican John Robitaille and Chafee - are considered serious contenders.
"Chafee and Caprio lead the most recent polls. They are running neck-and-neck as the race enters the final stretch in the last two weeks before the Nov. 2 election.
"All but Robitaille have pledged to sign a marriage equality bill. He has said he opposes nuptials for same-sex couples.
"'Frank has attended many events in support of the freedom to marry,' said the Caprio campaign on Oct. 17 when EDGE asked about his position. 'As recently as this spring, he was at a State House rally where he stated he would work with the Legislature to get a bill through.'
"During his talk, Chafee contended Rhode Island founding father Roger Williams envisioned the state as a haven for everyone, including LGBTs.
"'I’d like to resolve this once and for all,' Chafee told EDGE in an interview during the Pawtucket event. 'We’re a welcoming place. Let’s get marriage equality passed.' "
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