Fox Proposes Civil Unions
Ian Donnis broke the story that House Speaker Gordon Fox is throwing his weight behind Civil Union legislation in lieu of a gay marriage bill:
Based on your input, along with the fact that it is now clear to me that there is no realistic chance for passage of the bill in the Senate, I will recommend that the House not move forward with a vote on the marriage equality bill during this legislative session. I will instead support full passage of a civil unions’ bill that grants important and long overdue legal rights to same-sex couples inRhode Island.
I have had conversations with Senate leadership and, unlike the marriage equality bill, I am optimistic that a civil unions’ bill can gain passage in both chambers during this legislative session.
The new civil union bill is currently being drafted and will soon be ready for introduction and public inspection. I will be one of the sponsors.
This has been the pragmatic approach all along and its obvious that Speaker Fox is taking what he can get. Besides the legal considerations granted to gay couples, let’s hope that the bill also includes allowances for non-gay couples (siblings, parent/child, friends, etc.).
UPDATE: More from Ian – MERI isn’t pleased.