RI lawmakers to vote on gay marriage

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — State lawmakers in Rhode Island are set to decide whether the nation’s smallest state becomes the 10th to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.

The state Senate is set to vote on gay marriage legislation Wednesday. The bill easily passed the House in January and has the support of independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY’-fee).

Supporters are optimistic the bill will pass.

Gay marriage legislation has been introduced in Rhode Island’s General Assembly for nearly two decades only to languish on the legislative agenda. Heavily Catholic Rhode Island is now the only New England state that does not allow same-sex couples to marry.

If the Senate passes the bill it will then return to the House for a largely procedural final vote, probably next week.

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