PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The leaders of the Rhode Island Bar Association have endorsed a proposal to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.
The association’s executive committee and House of Delegates have both endorsed the legislation, which has passed the state House of Representatives. The Bar Association represents Rhode Island’s licensed attorneys.
Rhode Islanders United for Marriage announced the association’s endorsement on Monday. Ray Sullivan, the group’s campaign director, says gay marriage is an issue of justice and basic fairness.
Rhode Island is now the only state in New England that does not allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.
The proposal is awaiting consideration in the Senate. Debate there could hinge on an exemption in the law designed to ensure that religious leaders who oppose gay marriage aren’t forced to participate in same-sex marriages.