TOMORROW: Rhode Island's Same-Sex Marriage Bill To Be Introduced
Rhode Island's legislature comes back into session on Thursday and one of the first items they will consider is a same-sex marriage bill.
Rep. Arthur Handy, a Cranston Democrat, said the bill is already drafted, but that he needs Wednesday's second legislative day to gather signatures from co-sponsors, who will include openly gay House Speaker Gordon D. Fox, D-Providence. A key point of debate will be how the bill addresses concerns from religious groups. Handy has said that the legislation will include, as it has in past versions, language granting religious groups protections, if they object to same sex unions as a matter of their religious beliefs. Citing the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, a 2011 version of Handy's gay marriage bill stated that every religious institution has "exclusive control over its own religious doctrine, policy, and teachings regarding who may marry within their faith, and on what terms."Zoom, zoom, zoom!