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The Rhode Island Senate has passed a marriage equality bill by a 26-12 vote. Governor Lincoln Chaffee has already come out in support of it. After a long battle played out within the bizarre entity known as the Democratic Party (all 12 no votes were from Democrats), the pressure became too much for Senate Majority Leader Teresa Paiva Weed to resist.

A fine day in the Ocean State!!

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  • efgoldman

    Hooray for our tiny but corrupt state!
    Must be because you moved here and threatened to put heads on pikes!
    Yay us!

  • bspencer

    Proud to have lived here for a year!

  • PhoenixRising

    One more to go before my dream of a chain of drive-up chapels starting inside the Beltway, stretching north to Bangor, called ‘I-95 Weddings’ can be realized. (Yes, I know we can’t yet have a PA location. The revolution will not be televised.)

    • Jordan

      Huh. The first unanimous state party delegation anywhere to vote for same-sex marriage was the republicans.

      • Yeah, WTF is wrong with Rhode Island’s Dems? Other than all the normal stuff, obviously.

        • Well, see, if they’d voted FOR it Republicans would be able to use it as an election issue.

        • The Catholic Church plays an outsized role in the state’s politics.

          • efgoldman

            The Catholic Church plays an outsized role in the state’s politics.

            Yes, although passage of this bill in open defiance of the diocese is a good sign the influence is being cut down to size.

          • Also, because Rhode Island is effectively a 1-party state, Democrats run the gamut here from awesome to atrocious.

            • Jordan

              Does Rhode Island have basically liberal voters, where the one party Dems thwart their preferences? Or is it a whatever state, but happens to just be dominated by the Dems?

              • Rhode Island has voters who vote a party line.

                I live in a working-class neighborhood of Providence. Our state senator, Paul Jabour, who voted for the bill, had some interesting campaign signs last fall. They read, “Paul Jabour: Endorsed Democrat.” That explains so much about Rhode Island politics.

          • Size isn’t everything.

            That’s a marriage lesson.

        • Djur

          There’s only 5 Republicans in the 38-member Senate, and the House is similarly lopsided, so I’m assuming this is one of those one-party state situations where most political controversies are intraparty.

          Also, isn’t RI a pretty Catholic state? Some of the dissenters might be religiously conservative Catholic Dems.

          • Jordan

            Surely this is true. But you would think some of the religious conservative catholics would be republicans. Of course, there are only 5, as you say.

            • efgoldman

              But you would think some of the religious conservative catholics would be republicans.

              RI is also an old-line union state; there were (past tense) lots of Reagan democrats (blue collar catholics who’s grandparents voted for FDR, Truman, and JFK.) They stay dems out of habit, the same way they stay catholic. Think cong. Lynch in MA.

              • efgoldman

                BTW, we’re also the only blue state to enact a voter ID law. We hope they get around to repealing it soon.

              • Jordan

                Ok, makes sense. Is there an issue (or issues) that would cause them to abandon the Democratic party (so, sorta analogy to the south)? I mean, assuming they are pro-choice and (overall) pro-gay-marriage, I’m guessing not. But obviously I don’t know.

              • vote Markey

                Lynch has a lifetime AFL-CIO rating above 95%
                and is on the liberal end of the House on both economic and foreign policy. He is more moderate on social policy but did not get in the way of same sex marriage in DC.

                Markey is a liberal and preferable in MA but Lynch is not a Reagan Democrat.

      • elm

        Unanimity is easier to achieve when there are five of you.

        • Jordan

          Very true, of course. Still, though.

  • Another Anonymous

    PLEASE tell me that the Senate Majority Leader is a smoker.

    • Someone

      She co-sponsored RI’s medical marijuana legislation a few years ago.

  • Johnny Sack

    They’re still the asshole of New England, but good on them.

    • efgoldman

      Hay, you been to New Bedford/Fall River lately? Or Brockton?

      • joebait

        or Lowell?

      • Benjamin

        Fall River is just across the border from Rhode Island. If Rhode Island is the asshole of New England, then Fall River is its taint.

      • joe from Lowell

        Or New Haven, Hartford, and New London?

        Providence and Pawtucket are looking relatively spiffy.

    • Origami Isopod

      Providence is nowhere near as gritty as it used to be, and the state overall is quite pretty. I’d rather slap that appellation on New Hampshire these days.

  • Jerry Vinokurov

    Nice to see another state doing the right thing. I lived in Providence for 5 years (left in 2010) and I remember noise being made about this towards the end of my time there, but I didn’t think it would happen so relatively quickly.

  • cpinva

    “This won’t change my life one bit, but it will change the lives of so many people.”

    i disagree. she can go home, look at herself in the mirror, and realize she’s seeing a better person than she saw in the morning. that’s a definite change in her life.

  • Benjamin

    Not all twelve nays were Democrats. Sen. O’Neill (I-Lincoln) is an independent.

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