Bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island passes House

    9:36 AM, Jan 25, 2013   |    comments
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    PROVIDENCE, RI (CNN/WJAR) -- A bill to legalize same-sex marriage has passed Rhode Island's House. It's now up to the state Senate for approval.

    Supporters of same sex marriage go out to support a historic vote. Peter Quesnel and Thomas Koch were married in Massachusetts but want that recognition in their home state. Quesnel says, "We want that affirmation that our relationship is equal, 'cause that's what we believe."

    Same sex marriage overwhelming passes the house, 51 to 19; opponents outnumbered but steadfast in their beliefs. Rev. Ernie Robillard says, "We firmly believe in the Bible and God is opposed to this, God has created marriage to be one man and one woman, he has ordained this, and no generation, no nation has ever prospered that violated God's will."

    Now to the big question is will the opponents win out in the senate where the future of the same sex marriage bill is much more precarious. Gordon Fox with the Rhode Island House says, "I'm always worried about what's going to happen in any sense of government, it's done until it's done."

    Rhode Island Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed says, "I will not stand in the way of the bill receiving a full hearing and a full vote." A vote in committee that is.

    The Senate president has long been opposed to same sex marriage but is now elusive on her wishes. She says, "I certainly anticipate that the committee will hear the bill. What I would say though is that the Senate's primary focus is the economy and economic development."

    The governor says same sex marriage would help the economy and wants to sign the bill. Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee says, "Any vote that I can help with, it's a numbers game now in the Senate, anybody I can call and say this is the year, let's get this done."

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