Main | Friday, March 22, 2013

RI Senate Hearing Ran Until 5AM

The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee stayed up until 5am this morning as the marriage equality hearing ran for more than twelve hours.
Some 650 people signed up to speak at the hearing. Christopher Utter and his partner of 20 years, Stephen Pompei, arrived seven hours before the meeting began to make sure they got seats. "We thought about getting married in Massachusetts, but we wanted to do it here," said Utter, of Providence. "It's going to be close in the Senate, but we're very hopeful." Opponents called on lawmakers to reject the legislation, or at least put the question of gay marriage on the ballot and to a popular vote in November 2014. Opponents said gay marriage would force religious charities and schools to change employment benefit policies and set off a social experiment with unknown consequences. "What we're being asked here in Rhode Island and throughout the country is to radically redefine the definition of marriage," said attorney Joseph Cavanagh, a member of the National Organization for Marriage-Rhode Island. "The people should decide this."
The committee adjourned without taking a vote, but most expect the bill to advance to the full chamber, although that vote may be months away.

RELATED: At this writing the JMG live thread from the hearing is at 1075 comments. I'm pretty sure that is the all-time JMG record. You guys are amazing.

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