June 29, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
Gordon Fox, the Speaker of the House in Rhode Island, says that the state will take up marriage equality in its next legislative session:
“I’m calling the vote,” Fox, D-Providence, said Friday morning during a taping of WPRI 12′s Newsmakers. He added: “It’s one of those issues that I need to come back, we need to address, and I intend if I’m elected speaker to address it early.”
“It’s one of the main reasons I’m coming back,” Fox, who is openly gay, said on the program. “There’s unfinished business.” Fox was first elected to the House in 1992 and succeeded William Murphy as speaker in February 2010.
Earlier this year, Rhode Island’s Governor Lincoln Chafee signed an executive order recognizing same-sex marriages performed out of state. The Senate may or may not move on marriage equality legislation after the House votes, but there are ongoing talks. Marriage Equality Rhode Island issued a statement:
“We appreciate Speaker Fox’s commitment to finally calling a vote on marriage equality and look forward to working with him to pass this important civil rights legislation early in the next session. Under Speaker Fox and Gov. Chafee’s leadership, all eyes will turn to the Senate, where there is a wide coalition working to ensure that a pro-equality majority is elected.
“Every day, we strive to make 2013 the year in which all loving, committed couples are finally recognized, respected and treated equally under the law.“
The Speaker says his intention is to call the vote early in the session.