According to House Speaker Gordon Fox there’s no chance of passing the state’s General Assembly this year.
The Associated Press reports:
Efforts to extend marriage rights to gay couples in Rhode Island suffered a decisive setback Wednesday when a key legislative champion said he was abandoning a push to pass gay marriage legislation this year.
House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is gay, said the legislation has “no realistic chance” of passing the state’s General Assembly this year. Fox, a Providence Democrat, said instead he will support new legislation creating civil unions that would offer substantially the same rights given by the state to married couples.
“This is the best we can do right now,” he said. “Full marriage will happen. I’m born and bred in Rhode Island. When I do get married it will be in my home state.”
The announcement deeply disappointed those who hoped this would be the year the Ocean State joined five other states in recognizing gay marriage. Groups that led the fight for gay marriage said they wouldn’t support any measure that falls short of full marriage. While a civil union may offer many of the legal rights of marriage, it’s still a separate, lesser category than marriage, said Martha Holt, board chairwoman of Marriage Equality Rhode Island.
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