U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, a gay Democrat, was the only member of the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee to vote for a gay marriage bill in 2001. Now, in 2013, the committee he once served on has unanimously sent a gay marriage bill to the full House for consideration.
The vote could come as early as Jan. 24.
Cicilline has sent a letter to members of the Rhode Island General Assembly encouraging their support.
In a statement, he said, “I applaud the action of the House Judiciary Committee. Following President Obama’s inaugural address that called for gay Americans to be treated equally under the law, I am pleased that the House Judiciary Committee has taken the first step towards enacting full marriage equality in our state.”
He continued, “This important effort has received the support of a growing number of Rhode Islanders from nearly every political background and religious tradition, and I believe it is time our state recognizes the dignity and value of relationships between committed and loving individuals of the same gender by enacting full marriage equality in Rhode Island.”
Rhode Island is the only New England state where gay marriage is not legal.