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RI Speaker Gives Up On Same-Sex Marriage

PROVIDENCE - The openly gay speaker of the Rhode Island House says the Legislature is not ready to pass a same-sex marriage bill and he now wants to legalize civil unions.

In a letter to lawmakers, Gordon D. Fox, a Democrat, said he supports same-sex marriage and hopes it eventually will become legal in Rhode Island. He urged protesters at the statehouse demanding same-sex marriage to support his move.

"I am the speaker of the House and I am an openly gay man. This is very emotional for me," he said. "But as speaker, I understand counting votes and what I can deliver for all of us. And I believe I am delivering rights to us today and it's not killing the cause."

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an independent, said he was hoping to sign a same-sex marriage bill this year. But he agreed that legalizing civil unions would be a step in the right direction.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa and the District of Columbia. A number of other states recognize civil unions that convey most of the practical benefits of marriage.


STORY TAGS: General, Black News, African American News, Latino News, Hispanic News, Minority News, Civil Rights, Discrimination, Racism, Diversity, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality

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