Marriage—and Nothing Less—in Rhode Island

Today, Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox announced that he will work to advance civil union legislation, despite his personal support for the freedom to marry. Marc Solomon, Freedom to Marry's National Campaign Director, issued this statement in response:

“Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox has made a serious miscalculation.  With support for the freedom to marry topping 60 percent—higher than in any other state in the country—and with a strongly supportive governor, the Rhode Island House should send a marriage bill—and nothing less—to the Senate now.  Couples who are doing the work of marriage in their day-to-day lives, who have made a commitment in life, deserve to have an equal commitment under the law.  That legal commitment is called marriage.  Freedom to Marry is prepared to join with Speaker Fox, advocates on the ground, and a super-majority of Rhode Islanders to make the strongest case to the Senate. 

“Civil union is a separate and unequal half-step that has proven to be terribly inadequate in practice.  That’s why every New England state that started with civil union—Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont—has moved to marriage.  It is also why the official New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission found that “the separate categorization established by the Civil Union Act invites and encourages unequal treatment of same-sex couples and their children.

“Freedom to Marry stands with our partners at Marriage Equality Rhode Island, with families, and with a supermajority of Rhode Islanders in determination to pass a marriage bill for RI families.”