As Speaker of the House in the Rhode Island General Assembly and as the Mayor of Providence, we urge both Chambers of the General Assembly to take immediate action on marriage equality legislation. It is time for Rhode Island to join with our neighboring New England states in granting full access to the unique protections and recognition of civil marriage to loving, committed same-sex couples.
We believe the right to marry is an issue of fundamental fairness. Since Roger Williams first crossed the Seekonk River and founded the settlement he would call Providence more than 375 years ago, this great city and our state have sought to live up to his call for tolerance and a “lively experiment” in liberty. Extending the legal rights and inclusion offered by civil marriage to all Rhode Island families is the logical extension of this long march towards justice.
Allowing same-sex couples to marry in Rhode Island will also support efforts to grow our economy in Providence and all of Rhode Island. Providence is the Creative Capital, and marriage equality would further our efforts to attract creative professionals who are drivers of the 21st century knowledge economy.
We are proud to stand with the LGBTQ community, straight allies, elected officials, parents, friends, neighbors, families and faith leaders and advocate for Rhode Island to join our brothers and sisters throughout all of New England by welcoming and affirming the commitment of loving, committed couples, gay and straight alike, through equal access to civil marriage.