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R.I. Speaker Wants Early Marriage Vote

R.I. Speaker Wants Early Marriage Vote

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Rhode Island house speaker Gordon Fox is considering a judiciary committee vote on the marriage equality bill this Thursday, the same day a senate hearing is scheduled on the legislation.

According to The Providence Journal, Fox, who is gay, said he is "doing everything in his power" to move the bill forward, regardless of the pace in the senate. Tuesday is the deadline to post public notice of a house judiciary committee vote for Thursday.

"Fox said he believes the proposal, as currently worded, still has 'strong support' in the House," reports the Journal. "'There are hurdles in the Senate. I've had no indication that that has changed,' he said. 'But I'm not going to give the Senate veto power over this. I think that's a wrong strategy on any issue. And I think they'd give the same answer. You don't move it forward because the other chamber won't do it? I don't think that's a good starting point.'"

The Journal reports that in a potential tally of votes in the 14-member house judiciary committee, it is unclear whether the bill would pass the panel, let alone the full house. However, the window for debate could be closing as Gov. Lincoln Chafee prepares Tuesday to unveil his state budget, which will absorb lawmakers' attention.

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