Rhode Island House Passes Gay Marriage Bill

A bill that would legalize gay marriage in Rhode Island easily passed the state's House Thursday, but faces a more difficult battle in the state Senate. Still, many, including Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, a supporter of the measure, were encouraged by the results. "Certain votes can be characterized as 'historic.' RI House's overwhelming passage of marriage equality is one such vote," Chafee tweeted. The Rhode Island Catholic conference expressed its opposition. The bill, it said in a statement, "undermines the common good of our state and strikes against the very foundation of our culture." The vote came after nearly two hours of discussion and now moves to the state Senate where it will be reviewed in committee by April 11. If it passes, Rhode Island will become the eleventh state (including Washington D.C.) to permit same-sex marriage. It will also be the final New England state to pass such a law. Gay marriage is legal in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire.

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