Main | Wednesday, April 24, 2013

TODAY: RI Senate Marriage Vote
UPDATE: Marriage PASSES By 26-12!!!

Debate has just begun in the Rhode Island Senate.
Rhode Island's 38 senators gathered Thursday afternoon for a historic vote on whether to legalize same-sex in the state, as advocates expressed confidence that they will have enough support to secure passage in the upper chamber. The Senate debate began just before 4:30 p.m. Senate aides estimated there could be one to two hours of discussion and proposals to amend the bill before the final vote is taken. A crowd began gathering long before the debate and greeted some senators with applause. Opponents held signs outside the chamber urging senators to reject the bill.
The live video stream is here but appears to be overloaded at this writing.  The bill was overwhelmingly approved by the state House in January and Gov. Lincoln Chafee has vowed to sign it.  This could be it today.

UPDATE: This stream appears to be working.

UPDATE II:  This will not be it today as a minor change in the Senate version of the bill will have to be reconciled with the House.
The Senate marriage bill sponsored by Nesselbush differs from the House-passed legislation because it contains more expansive protections for religious groups. She said the protections would "act as a shield" for religious groups but would "not act as a sword to advance discrimination."

The House Judiciary Committee could take up the revised marriage bill as soon as next Tuesday if it passes the Senate as expected. Gov. Lincoln Chafee is an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage and has said he'll sign the bill if it passes the Senate and the House.
UPDATE III: The bill has PASSED!
Image by Memeograph.

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