CRANSTON, R.I. —
Rhode Island Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed said Friday that she has “no idea” if a same-sex marriage bill will pass in her chamber.
History was made in the state House of Representatives on Thursday night when a same-sex marriage bill passed by an overwhelming majority. But the fate of same-sex marriage now lies in the Senate, where it’s far from a done deal.
Paiva Weed said many of her members are concerned that the religious exemptions clause in the bill doesn’t offer enough protection.
“While there is a small minority in each of the more extreme ends of that discussion, there is a whole group of people that are generally struggling with this issue,” Paiva Weed said during a taping of “10 News Conference.”
And while most House members jumped on the same-sex marriage bandwagon, not so in the Senate.
“There are a number of folks in the Senate that would vote for that marriage equality bill that Sen. (Donna) Nesselbush has filed that mirrors Leader (Gordon) Fox’s legislation. There’s another group that wouldn’t vote for any marriage equality bill. There’s some folks that would support a referendum and support marriage equality. There are other folks that would support a referendum and would vote against marriage equality. And there’s another group that might support marriage equality if the religious exemption was more expansive than it was in the House,” Paiva Weed said.
Paiva weed said the No. 1 priority in the Senate is improving the state’s economy.