Posted By Eric Ethington (Author) on January 6, 2011
Rhode Island – State Representative Arthur Handy says that he will introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage today. He already has 27 co-sponsors and says he hopes this can be moved through the legislature quickly.
This comes almost immediately after Governor Lincoln Chafee’s inauguration speech, in which he called for this law to be passed. The language of the bill says that any person who otherwise meets the qualifications to be married may mary any other person who is also qualified, regardless of gender.
In a brief interview on Wednesday, Rep. Arthur Handy (pictured), D-Cranston, said he had already lined up 27 co-sponsors and was hoping for more, but would introduce the bill no matter what the number on Thursday in hopes of spurring an early-session hearing and vote on the measure.
Besides Handy, the other lead sponsors include Representatives Frank Ferri, D-Warwick, Edith Ajello, D-Providence, Deborah Ruggiero, D-Jamestown, and the openly gay House Speaker Gordon D. Fox, D-Providence, who had said in the days leading up to the start of the 2011 General Assembly session that he hoped for a House vote on same-sex marriage early in the session, before the lawmakers get wrapped up in the budget and other issues.
“I would like it done earlier than later, only because later you get into budget issues and your focus sort of changes,” Fox said.