Rhode Island will remove the last obstacle standing in the way of marriage equality today when the full Senate votes today at 4 p.m. If I’m right, we’ll become the 10th state in the nation – but the last in New England – to abolish same sex marriage discrimination.
“We think that when the vote is called, we can win,”Ray Sullivan told the New York Times.
WPRI had a great take on how public opinion shifted on this issue, thanks in large part to the efforts of local activists. Referring to the affirmative committee vote yesterday, Ted Nesi/Dan McGowan wrote:
The bill won the support of three committee members who were considered potential no votes just months and in some cases only weeks ago: state Sens. Paul Jabour, D-Providence; William Conley, D-East Providence; and Leo Raptakis, D-Coventry.
“I listened to my constituency and I found that overwhelmingly they wanted me to support this legislation,” Jabour told WPRI.com.
Jabour – who represents one of the most traditionally Catholic districts in Rhode Island, stretching from Federal Hill up through Mount Pleasant – said he was willing to put aside his personal beliefs and listen to the voters in his district.
“I feel that my responsibility was to follow what it was that my constituency wanted me to do,” Jabour said. “It was people from all walks of life in my district. There was a common theme that people want to be treated fairly and equally.”