Republicans back gay marriage ahead of vote in RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The five Republicans in the Rhode Island Senate are backing gay marriage as a legislative committee prepares for a pivotal vote on the issue.

The Senate Republican Caucus announced Tuesday that its members will support legislation allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. The senators cite their support for liberty and limited government and say same-sex couples deserve the same marriage rights as anyone.

While the GOP caucus only holds five of the Senate’s 38 seats, its support is another indication of the growing support for gay marriage in Rhode Island, now the only New England state that doesn’t allow gay marriage.

The bill has already passed the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee will decide Tuesday whether to forward the measure to the full Senate for a debate.

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