The Rhode Island house judiciary committee approved the bill by a 9 to 3 vote that would allow gay couples to enter into civil unions.
The Associated Press reports:
Rhode Island’s debate over civil unions for gay couples now moves to the state’s House of Representatives after a legislative panel gave it a tepid endorsement Tuesday.
The House Judiciary Committee voted 9-3 to advance the measure to a House vote now scheduled for Thursday.
The bill would allow gay couples to enter into civil unions granting all of the rights and benefits given to married couples under Rhode Island law, but stops short of sanctioning marriage. The proposal was introduced as a compromise after legislative leaders said gay marriage legislation lacked the votes to pass this year.
Gay marriage supporters are making a last-ditch push, however, with a House floor amendment that would replace the civil union bill with a proposal to extend full marriage rights to gay couples.
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