Teresa Paiva Weed gave new state Senator William Conley the worst job in the legislature. He gets to be the fall guy for marriage equality this session as the x factor on the newly constituted Senate Judiciary Committee.
Five Senators will likely support marriage equality and four won’t. Conley is holding his cards tight for the time being. If he votes against it, it dies as a tie. If he bucks the Senate President, leadership can still intervene and kill the bill in a 6 to 6 tie. This scenario would be politically ugly for Paiva Weed.
But Conley is a former East Providence city councilor, so he’s not stranger to politics. Or voting on same sex marriage politics. In April 2011, the East Providence City Council debated a resolution to endorse marriage equality legislation at the State House, according to East Providence Patch.
Councilwoman Katie Kleyla introduced a resolution supporting the passage of marriage equality legislation by the General Assembly. “This is an issue of fundamental fairness,” she said. But several speakers, including the pastor of First Baptist Church in Rumford, opposed the resolution. “I don’t think you have the right to speak for me or for the people of East Providence on this issue,” one woman said. Kleyla then asked for the resolution to be tabled, which passed 3 to 2.
The post does not indicate which way Conley voted.
Kleyla told the Providence Journal that she thinks Conley will vote against marriage equality.
Conley is a former Townie city solicitor who was elected to the council in 2010. Patch has more on him.