The Republican Caucus of Rhode Island Senate has backed same-sex marriage just as a legislative committee prepares for the most pivotal vote in one of the Senate committees. The entire five man caucus cited their support for liberty and limited government in backing the bill.
Rhode Island is the only state in New England without same-sex marriage rights despite popular support.
The Rhode Island Senate has 38 seats. The bill has already passed the House. It now faces the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Despite Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed’s opposition to same-sex marriage, she has stated that she will not interfere to stop the bill from coming to a vote. With the Republicans on board, it is possible that the bill now has enough support to pass.
Same-sex marriage rights are gaining a great deal of support throughout the United States. The support is strongest in the Northeast and West Coast with opposition being strongest in the South.
This past November, Maryland, Washington State, and Maine all legalized same-sex marriage while Minnesota rejected a constitutional ban on marriage equality. Attempts to legalize same-sex marriage have made progress in Nevada, Minnesota, and a few other states.
Marriage equality is currently legal in fourteen nations with Uruguay, New Zealand and France passing marriage equality legislation recently.