Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee votes to advance marriage bill!

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee in Rhode Island voted in favor of S38, the bill that would extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in Rhode Island. By a vote of 7-4, the committee members advanced the marriage bill to the full Senate floor and voted against a discriminatory referendum bill that sought to send the freedom to marry to the ballot. 

Lead sponsor Sen. Nesselbush spoke before the vote about the importance of the legislation. She said: 

We have before us an historic piece of legislation - one that literally has been in the works for more than 20 years. In the early 1980s, I marched in my first gay pride parade, and now, I am honored to be the lead sponsor of the marriage equality bill. For years, I sat on the other side of this table as a citizen and as an advocate, and I want to thank all of you in the advocacy community for your unwavering support for equal rights. This bill would undo centuries of discrimination against gay and lesbian people. 

Now, the legislation moves to the full Senate floor. If it is approved, the bill will face one final procedural vote in the House and then await Gov. Lincoln Chafee's signature. Gov. Chafee is a vocal proponent of the freedom to marry. 

Rhode Islanders United for Marriage is leading the campaign to win marriage in Rhode Island in 2013. Freedom to Marry is proud to be a founding member of this diverse coalition of organizations, faith leaders, and business leaders in the Rhode Island community. 

If approved, the bill would take effect on August 1, 2013, and Rhode Island would become the eleventh jurisdiction in the United States where same-sex couples have the freedom to marry.

Read more about marriage in Rhode Island HERE.