The Rhode Island newsblog GoLocalProv is reporting this morning: "GAY MARRIAGE CAN'T PASS RI HOUSE"!!!!
Even Edith Ajello, a prominent Providence progressive, admits the bill is currently at least six to eight votes short of the 38 votes needed to pass the Rhode Island House. And the RI House was supposed to be the easy part A lot of House members are scratching their heads, wondering why they should be pushed to vote on a bill causing such a public outcry—when it's clear, they say, that the bill is dead on arrival in the Senate.
"Why we're going to take on a contentious issue when we know it's dormant in the other side of the building—higher minds would have to answer that question," Democrat Jon Brien said.
"The Senate's not going to pass," said Robert Flaherty, D-Warwick. "It's just an exercise in futility."
Don't stop now, in other words—another tremendous victory is within our grasp!
Now, we take that headline and those quotes with a grain of salt, and a renewed commitment to fight for marriage—Rhode Island Marriage Equality is still promising its supporters that the bill will pass this year.
But let's pause for a moment to celebrate the extraordinary admission: The people can make a difference!
This is the Rhode Island House. With an openly gay speaker. Who said he would pass a bill through the house in early February.
NOM's own Maggie Gallagher and Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse both testified at that hearing.
Here's Dr. Morse testifying.
Maggie came back and told me, "It was very clear that there was a massive outpouring of opposition and those judiciary committee members were desperately seeking some alternative or compromise that would get them out of voting for gay marriage."
Kudos in particular to the Hispanic community of Rhode Island, which turned out in force to oppose the bill. The Hispanic Pastoral Association delivered a petition with 5,500 signatures from Hispanic Christians opposing gay marriage—and most of them live in core-Democrat inner-city districts.
Gordon Fox, who had planned to ram the bill quickly through—the big fight was supposed to be on the senate side—suddenly pulled the bill. He claimed he had the votes to pass it, but with Ajello's admission it's clear that they do not have them yet!
Now is not the time to stop! If you live in Rhode Island tell your representative—you oppose redefining marriage and you vote!