Rhode Island’s House speaker says legislation extending marriage rights to gay couples is dead for the year.
Fox, a Providence Democrat, says he’ll instead sponsor civil union legislation giving same-sex couples the same state rights given to married couples.
The announcement deals a major setback to advocates of gay marriage in the Ocean State. They had called civil unions a poor substitute for full marriage.
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed’s opposition was seen as a key obstacle to the bill’s passage. In a statement to reporters, she says she supports civil union legislation and is confident it will pass.