RI gay marriage bill faces uncertain future

By

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The fight to allow gay marriage in Rhode Island moves to the state Senate following an overwhelming endorsement of same-sex marriage in the House of Representatives.

Supporters and opponents say the bill's fate in the Senate is uncertain. Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed opposes same-sex marriage.

It's likely to be weeks or months before the Senate takes up the issue.

The House passed the bill 51-19 Thursday following an often emotional debate that touched on religion, civil rights and the nature of marriage.

House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is gay, said Thursday's vote was one for "justice."

Opponents, however, warned that same-sex marriage could destabilize society by eroding the institution of marriage.

Rhode Island is now the only state in New England that doesn't allow same-sex couples to wed.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.