Marriage equality and the Rhode Island state senate

Katharine Gregg of the Providence Journal fills readers in on the politics behind the marriage equality debate in Rhode Island:

Observers say the votes of anywhere from a dozen to 18 senators are at stake. Those are the senators who are publicly undecided. To approve the bill, a majority of the 38 senators must vote yes.

At least 10 senators are cosponsors of the gay-marriage bill, which has been introduced by Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush, D-Pawtucket, currently the Senate’s only openly gay member.

About 10 others have signed on as co-sponsors of a bill backed by traditional-marriage advocates. …

[ Senate President M. Teresa] Paiva Weed has committed to holding a Senate Judiciary Committee vote on the bill but has not set a timeline.

Sen. Michael J. McCaffrey, the Warwick Democrat who chairs that committee, says the vote will come “sometime in the spring.” He, too, is personally opposed to gay marriage.

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