Rhode Islanders United for Marriage coalition launches to pass marriage in 2013

Today is a historic day in Rhode Island - it's the official launch of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, an unprecedented coalition working to pass marriage legislation in 2013. Dozens of advocates, faith leaders, and allies have joined together this morning in Providence for a press conference announcing the coalition's plans to secure the freedom to marry this year. Freedom to Marry is proud to be a leading member of this robust coalition. 

If you're from Rhode Island, you can do your part by signing Rhode Islanders United for Marriage's petition HERE, and telling your friends from Rhode Island that their signature matters!

Passing the freedom to marry is a high priority for legislative leaders, and a marriage bill is already on the fast-track in the House, after it was introduced in both houses of the legislature just over a week ago. Tomorrow, January 15, the House Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing on the bill tomorrow, where loving and committed same-sex couples, their families, and our strongest allies will share their stories and illustrate why marriage matters to them.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee attended the press conference today to voice his support for marriage and urge swift passage of the bill.  

"It's time for same-sex couples to enjoy equal rights in our state," he said. "I urge legislative leaders to call the roll for equality."

The press conference also featured representation from a robust coalition of community faith leaders. Last week, the Rhode Island Religious Coalition for Marriage Equality formed, with over 100 clergy and faith leaders from 13 denominations speaking out in favor of ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from civil marriage.

Rev. Dyszlewski, the chair of the religious coalition, explained at the press conference, "Marriage equality allows me to say yes to loving couples in my faith community. It's the right thing to do. ... We affirm Christ's commitment to justice." 

Find out more about the freedom to marry in Rhode Island by checking out the coalition's website HERE, becoming a Facebook fan of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, following RI United on Twitter, and signing the pledge