Momentum Builds as House Committee Strongly Endorses Marriage Equality
PROVIDENCE – In an historic step forward in the fight to give all Rhode Island families full and equal access to civil marriage rights, the Judiciary Committee of the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted unanimously to send HB5015 to the floor of the House for a full vote.
“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,” said Ray Sullivan, Rhode Islanders United for Marriage campaign director. “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,” he said.
“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,” added Sullivan.
This is the first time a General Assembly committee has voted to send a marriage equality bill to the floor. In 2001, then State Representative David Cicilline moved passage in the House Judiciary Committee on a marriage equality bill sponsored by Rep. Michael Pisaturo. He was the only affirmative vote, and the legislation was defeated.
The House is expected to take up Rep. Handy’s bill on Thursday, January 24.