By: Christine Nicco/TRT Reporter–
PROVIDENCE, RI—Speaker of the House, Gordon Fox (D- Rhode Island), has come around marriage equality–again–in the Ocean State, according to statements he made last week to Freedom to Marry.
According to the organization’s report, Fox announced that he would be seeking another term as Speaker of the House and “plans to bring the freedom to marry to a vote in the state House of Representative in 2013.”
Although same-sex couples in Rhode Island may be hopeful due to the Obama administration’s support for marriage equality, there is still uncertainty that the legalization of gay marriage will pass next year. A former 2011 story by The Rainbow Times, TRT, explained the conundrum faced by same-sex Rhode Islanders since “a same-sex marriage bill has been introduced every year since 1997 but has never made it out of committee for a floor vote.”
Fox stunned the LGBT community on April 27, 2011 when in a TRT story he announced his support for a civil unions’ bill, noting there were not enough votes in the House for a marriage equality bill. Such an unexpected move led to the introduction of a civil union’s bill, which passed as law by the RI legislature. For his action, Fox found himself at the center of a YouTube parody, produced by Jim Carroll who, upset by Fox’s change of heart, wrote new lyrics to the popular song F%#k You by Cee Lo Green, and applied them to Fox. Carroll shot the video in one day.
“I found it difficult in my head to come up with a rational explanation as to why a gay man would do something like that,” Carroll told The Rainbow Times in 2011.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee, in July, 2011, signed the civil union bill into law while expressing, via Boston.com, that the bill was “an imperfect piece of legislation but calling it a ‘step forward’ toward full marriage rights in the state.”
Earlier in May Chafee, via an executive order, provided Rhode Island with the ability to recognize out-of-state marriages between same-sex couples, although still not offering the same for its residents. Legalizing marriage equality in RI is the next step that will provide same-sex couples with full marriage protections that their heterosexual counterparts have enjoyed for years.
For more information, visit Marriage Equality Rhode Island.