News (USA)

Standing room only at Rhode Island Senate hearing on gay marriage

Standing room only at Rhode Island Senate hearing on gay marriage

The debate over same-sex marriage returned to Rhode Island this week, as hundreds of citizens turned out for a public hearing on Thursday.

The Providence Journal reports:

Testimony in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, which was expected to go late into the night, centered on a bill introduced by Sen. Rhoda E. Perry (D-Providence), that would recognize civil marriage between people of identical gender, while leaving religious institutions the right to refuse to participate.

The committee agenda also included bills that would place the question of gay marriage before voters in a referendum, allow domestic unions for same sex couples, and create “reciprocal beneficiary agreements” that would allow two unmarried people ineligible for marriage to obtain certain rights and responsibilities.

As the hearing went late into the night, exchanges between supporters and opponents got heated.

Rep. Frank Ferri (D-Warwick), who is openly gay, admonished a gay marriage opponent sitting nearby who held a large sign that read “Keep Marriage Holy.”

“Why do you care who I love?” Ferri asked the man. “Shame on you. Shame on you that your God is the God that’s right and mine isn’t. Shame on you for thinking you’re more perfect than I am.”

House leaders also held hearings, in February, and could call a vote as early as next week.

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

GWU attacker charged with ‘hate crime’ on straight man he thought was gay

Previous article

Petition asks Apple to remove ‘ex-gay’ group Exodus’ iPhone app

Next article