RI Senate leader: Exemption key to marriage debate

00femf RI Senate leader: Exemption key to marriage debate

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The fate of gay marriage legislation in Rhode Island could hinge on the exemptions it affords religious groups that oppose it, the state Senate president said Friday, a day after the House overwhelmingly passed the bill.Teresa Paiva Weed said she remains opposed to the bill and has heard that the sticking point for many senators is on how broad of a religious exemption is included in the only New England state that doesn’t allow same-sex marriage.The Newport Democrat said she doesn’t want to fast-track the legislation and promised a “full and fair debate” on what she said is a personal and emotional issue for many lawmakers. She made the comments during a taping of WJAR-TV’s “10 News Conference.”She said she doesn’t know whether there’s enough support in the Senate to pass the legislation, which would make Rhode Island the 10th state to allow gay marriage.”The debate and the discussion in the Senate will be very real, and neither I nor anybody else … really knows what the final outcome of that will be,” she said.Paiva Weed said several senators have told her they want a more expansive religious exemption to protect religious leaders, churches, religious charities and organizations that do not support same-sex marriage.Continue Reading…

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RI Senate leader: Exemption key to marriage debate

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