Gay marriage on fast-track in RI House

January 2, 2013, 1:28 pm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The long debate over gay marriage in Rhode Island is intensifying with lawmakers in both the House and Senate planning to introduce legislation allowing same-sex couples to wed in the Ocean State.

Rep. Art Handy said Wednesday that he intends to introduce his bill Thursday. Sen. Joshua Miller says legislation should be introduced in the Senate on the same day. Rhode Island is now the only state in New England without gay marriage.

House Speaker Gordon Fox says he wants the House to vote on gay marriage before month's end.

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed says she expects the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up the legislation if it passes the House. Paiva Weed is an opponent of gay marriage.

Lawmakers began their 2013 session on Tuesday.

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