Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee advances marriage bill to final House vote

Yesterday, the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to advance the marriage bill to a full vote before the RI House of Representatives. The vote, scheduled for Thursday, May 2, will mark the final vote for the freedom to marry in the state. Earlier this year, the marriage bill was apporved by the RI House with overwhelming support.

After it is confirmed, it will await the signature of Governor Lincoln Chafee, who has been a vocal proponent of the freedom to marry and has promised to sign the bill into law.  

Last week, the Rhode Island Senate approved S38, its version of the marriage bill, by a vote of 26-12. The Senate vote was widely regarded as the final legislative hurdle for the freedom to marry in the state. Watch video of the exciting vote HERE.

Devin Driscoll, Communications Director for Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, issued a statement yesterday celebrating the Committee vote. Driscoll said:

We are proud that once again legislation allowing all Ocean State families the freedom to marry has earned the unanimous support of the House Judiciary Committee. Our campaign is continuing to ensure the voices of the tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders who support marriage equality are heard on Smith Hill, and we look forward to Thursday's debate and vote on the House floor. 

Freedom to Marry was a founding member of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, the broad coalition of civil rights organizations, faith institutions, and business leaders working to pass the freedom to marry in 2013. In addition to the leadership with the coalition, Freedom to Marry has been the lead funder of the campaign, providing more than $250,000 to the effort in 2013. 

When Gov. Chafee signs the bill into law, Rhode Island will become the 10th state in the United States - plus the District of Columbia - where same-sex couples can marry.