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Public Statements

Statement from Governor Lincoln D. Chafee Regarding House Passage of Marriage Equality Legislation

Statement

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Date:
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There are certain legislative votes that can fairly be characterized as "historic." The Rhode Island House of Representatives' overwhelming passage of marriage equality legislation is one such vote.

I think most immediately of the pioneers of the House who have been working to achieve this goal for many years. Former state representatives such as Michael Pisaturo, who first introduced the Equal Access to Marriage Act in the mid-1990s, David Cicilline, who was the lone member of the House Judiciary Committee to vote in favor of marriage equality legislation in 2001, and Ray Sullivan. And current members such as Speaker Fox, Chairwoman Ajello, Deputy Majority Leader Ferri, and Chairman Handy, the bill's longtime sponsor. I think also of activists such as the late Julie Pell, who certainly would have been encouraged to see this significant step forward.

Although this vote is indeed historic, there is still a long way to go. Now that the House has swiftly acted, I urge Senate leadership to "call the roll" -- for our economy, for our gay and lesbian friends and neighbors, and for history.


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