Gay Marriage in Works in RI
It will be last state in New England to allow it
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2013 7:53 AM CST
C. Kelly Smith, of Providence hugs Patrick Crowley, of Lincoln after a house committee vote on gay marriage at the Statehouse, in Providence, Jan. 22, 2013.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(Newser) – Rhode Island, perhaps sensing that all the cool kids in the region were doing it, is moving forward on a bill allowing anyone to marry "any eligible person regardless of gender." Rhode Island is currently the only state in New England not to allow same-sex marriage, but that looks poised to change, with the House expected to pass the bill today, after it unanimously cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, the New York Times reports.

House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is gay, supports the bill, as does Gov. Lincoln Chafee. Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed opposes the bill, but has said she will allow a vote on it. Supporters believe it will pass if she does, but opponents are lobbying hard against it. Religious groups are split: The Roman Catholic bishop of Providence last week called gay marriage "immoral and unnecessary," while the state's Episcopal bishop endorsed it, saying, "Christ welcomed all to his table."