The Rhode Island Senate voted today to approve marriage equality. The state becomes the 10th in the nation, plus D.C., to allow same-sex couples to legally marry, and becomes the last of the New England states to do so.
Chris Geidner, at Buzzfeed:
The Rhode Island Senate approved a marriage equality bill 26-12 on Wednesday afternoon, after a spirited if lop-sided debate.
From Think Progress, Zack Ford:
Because the Senate made some revisions to the bill, it still requires a final passage in the Rhode Island House, which will likely happen next Thursday. Back in January, it passed easily there by an overwhelming 51-19 vote. , has promised to sign the bill.
More history was made, as Geidner notes:
All five Republicans in the chamber voted for the bill, which supporters said was the first time an entire party delegation in a chamber has voted for a marriage equality bill.
The debate, however, still had some of what we’ve come to expect, only it was from a Democrat. Geidner:
One of the few lawmakers to speak against the bill, Sen. Harold Metts, quoted from the Bible and dismissed comparisons between the civil rights movement of the 1960s and today, saying, “˜I can change my sexual preference tonight if I want, but I can’t change my color.’ Later, he added, “˜You can laugh or ignore me if you want, but let me assure you, I did not write the Bible.’
Back to Ford:
James Doyle (D), who just came out for marriage equality a month ago, countered that if he gets to Heaven and the Lord’s first concern is how he voted on same-sex marriage, then he’s “˜doing pretty good.’ Sen. Maryellen Goodwin (D) notably changed her position to support the bill just before the vote, adding that she was voting on the side of love.
“Voting on the side of love” has become not only the right thing to do, but in a growing number of states, a politically safe, if not expedient, thing to do