Wednesday, May 16, 2007

RI lawmakers to debate gay marriage today.

R.I. lawmakers to debate gay marriage today

May 16, 2007 07:41 AM EDT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- House lawmakers are expected to debate three bills today touching on same-sex unions. One bill before the House Judiciary Committee would permit gay couples to get married in Rhode Island.

Another would set up civil unions for same-sax partners. The third proposal would also create a civil union system but define marriage as a partnership between a man and a woman. Gay marriage advocates have tried without success since 1997 to legalize gay marriage in the Ocean State.

But Rhode Island couples can get wed in Massachusetts, where a court legalized same-sex unions several years ago. Earlier this year, Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch said the state government should recognize same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts.

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