Tuesday, March 26, 2013
The EG senator says he hasn’t made a “firm decision” yet on voting to allow SSM legislation to be voted on by the full Senate.
State Sen. Lou Raptakis (D-Coventry, E.G., W.W.) has removed his name as a sponsor of legislation to hold a referendum on same sex marriage, but he’s stopped short of saying he will definitely support allowing a bill legalizing same sex marriage to be voted on by the full Senate. Raptakis is one of ten members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the panel in control of the legislation right now. Senate Bill 708, sponsored by Sen. Frank A. Ciccone III (D-Providence), would put a referendum before voters, asking if they want to legalize same-sex marriage by adding language to the state Constitution that defines marriage as "the legally-recognized union of two people." Senate Bill 38, sponsored by Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket), would…
Friday, March 22, 2013
EG's Sen. Hodgson speaks out in favor of same-sex marriage while Fr. Healey of OLM came out against.
By midnight Thursday, people were still testifying for and against the same-sex marriage legislation (S-38) before the state Senate Judiciary Committee. More than 600 people signed up to testify and in groups of four they were called up. Both of East Greenwich's state senators sit on the Judiciary Committee. Sen. Dawson Hodgson (R-E.G., N.K., S.K., Narr.), early on spoke out in favor of the legislation: "If Rhode Islanders truly believe in family values, we need to value all families." To the comments from some that the legislation harms marriage, Hodgson said, "No matter what this committee does, it won't touch your marriage. That's one of the nice things about the separation of church and state." Sen. Lou Raptakis (D-Coventry, E.G., W.…
Monday, January 28, 2013
Both EG state senators say the real business of the General Assembly should be the economy.
Now that the state House of Representatives has passed a bill allowing same-sex marriage, the question has become when will the Senate Judiciary Committee – on which Sen. Lou Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry) serves – take it up. Raptakis, of Coventry, represents a small portion of East Greenwich. He has said he is against same-sex marraige. On Sunday he said it's up to the head of the committee, Sen. Michael McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick), to decide when to take up the bill. When asked if he thought the Senate should act quickly, he said, "Why did the Speaker of the House push it through now? Aren’t there more pressing business concerns?" Alternatively, Sen. Dawson Hodgson (R-Dist. 35, North Kingstown) would like to see a vote on same-…
Thursday, January 24, 2013
East Greenwich Rep. Anthony Giarrusso votes nay.
In an historic 51-19 vote, the Rhode Island House of Representatives approved a bill allowing same-sex marriage Thursday afternoon. The bill now goes to the state Senate, where leadership has said no action will be taken on it until spring. Rep. Anthony Giarrusso (R-Dist. 30) of East Greenwich voted no. "I ran on my traditional beliefs of a marriage being one woman and one man. I ran on that and I kept my word as I voted 'Nay' when the vote came up," Giarrusso said via email. "I'm overwhelmed with the intensity of the debate on both sides in and out of the statehouse. In my opinion, the issue although it's important to many Rhode Islanders is off the radar in terms of the real issues that we face with unemployment, education, roads, …
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
The state House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote on the controversial measure for this afternoon.
Tuesday, January 22
A vote by the State House Judiciary committee on a bill allowing same-sex marriage in Rhode Island is scheduled for a vote tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m., the General Assembly Press Bureau announced. The "Equal Access to Marriage" bill — submitted in the House by Cranston Rep. Arthur Handy and co-sponsored by Rep. Kenneth A. Marshall (D-Dist. 68, Bristol, Warren) — would make Rhode Island the last state in New England to allow same-sex marriages, and would recognize any civil unions as marriages. According to a release from the General Assembly Press Bureau, "no further testimony will be taken at this hearing." Passage in the House would then move the bill to the state Senate Judiciary Committee, which may or may not decide to take it up …
Monday, January 14, 2013
Sen. Hodgson is a strong proponent of allowing same-sex marriage; Sen. Raptakis – a member of the Judiciary Committee that will hear the bill – is opposed.
On Tuesday, the House is expected to take up a bill that would allow same-sex marriage. House Speaker Gordon Fox (D-Providence), who is gay, has pledged to get the bill passed in that chamber early in the session. Then, it moves over to the Senate, where it's course if far less certain. And that's where it gets interesting for residents of East Greenwich, because its two senators – Sen. Dawson Hodgson (R-Dist. 35) and Sen. Leo Raptakis (D-Dist. 33) – are likely to have large roles in the debate. EG's state representative, Anthony Giarrusso (R-Dist. 30), opposes same-sex marriage. As Edward Fitzpatrick of the Providence Journal reported Sunday, Hodgson is a Republican champion of marriage equality in the Senate. “I was raised to believe …