RI Minority Leader Lays Down Gauntlet to Speaker Fox: Let the House Vote!


Speaker Gordon Fox, who promised to hustle a gay marriage bill through the House in February, is now dragging his heels and not permitting the House to vote on the bill.

RI House Minority Leader Robert Watson, who opposes gay marriage, in a dramatic exchange yesterday, called Fox out on this point, arguing that the House should vote and then get on with the budget.

Why would Fox hold up the bill?  Only one reason: he doesn't have the votes.

"I will agree to vote that bill out of committee as an ex-officio member," Watson shouted as his microphone was cut off at Fox's request. "Once and for all, Mr. Speaker, we should get our focus on the budget."

... After the session ended, Watson approached Fox, who looked at him and asked, "What was that?" before exiting the chamber.

Rep. Arthur Handy, who introduced this year's gay marriage proposal, was standing nearby and remarked to Fox: "You know, he has a point."