Smallest state is big battleground on gay marriage
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The debate over gay marriage is taking center stage in the Rhode Island Statehouse as lawmakers hear from both sides of the contentious issue ahead of what's expected to be a landmark vote.
A House committee is scheduled to review gay marriage legislation on Tuesday. The House is expected to vote on the bill by month's end.
Supporters including Gov. Lincoln Chafee say gay marriage is a civil rights issue and want to see the state join the rest of New England is allowing same-sex couples to wed.
But opponents, notably the state's Catholic Bishop, say opening up marriage to same-sex couples would be wrong. If anything, they'd like to see the question put before voters as a referendum.
Nine states currently allow gay marriage.