Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee unanimously advances marriage bill

Today, the Judiciary Committee of the Rhode Island House of Representatives unanimously voted to advance a bill that would extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in the state. Now the bill - HB5015 - will be sent to the floor of the House of Representatives for a full vote. The House is expected to take up the marriage bill on Thursday, January 24.

Ray Sullivan, the campaign director for Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, the coalition working to pass the freedom to marry in the state, commented on the historic move forward today in a statement. He said:

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. 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.

We are grateful to Speaker Fox, his leadership team, Rep. Handy and all our sponsors for their commitment to acting swiftly on this important legislation and we look forward to having this bill debated by the full House. Momentum is clearly with us, but we're not taking anything for granted and will double our efforts in the coming days to grow the broad and bipartisan coalition of supportive legislators in both chambers.

The unanimous vote comes a week after the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the marriage bill, where supporters of the freedom to marry made a strong showing, coming together to speak out about why marriage matters to same-sex couples. Check out photos from the hearing HERE

Learn more about the freedom to marry in Rhode Island HERE, and check out Rhode Islanders United for Marriage HERE.