Two advances in the fight for same sex marriage have been made across the country from one another. Rhode Island — the only New England state that doesn’t allow gay marriage—and Nevada, the state with highest marriage rate, are both looking at bills that would either allow same sex marriage (in Rhode Island’s case) or strike down a measure denying same sex marriage (as in Nevada’s).
Various legislative bodies are currently looking at both measures. In Nevada, the bill to strike down a 2002 measure that defined marriage as only between man and woman passed in the senate on a 12-9 vote. Part of the reason for its passage was the emotional “coming out” of Sen. Kelvin Atkinson D-North Las Vegas. The African American senator told his colleagues “I’m black. I’m gay.”, reported the Associated Press. The bill now moves on to the General Assembly, where, if it passes, it will go to a public vote.
Kelvin Atkinson D-North Las Vegas
Rhode Island is facing similar issues in its push for marriage equality. The small, liberal state has been lagging behind its neighbors, and has yet to enact a law making marriage equal to all. However, people remain hopeful, as all 5 of the state’s Republican senators have come out in favor of the measure. The bill has already passed in the house and just passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee by vote of 7-4, which means the bill will now receive a full senate hearing.
Both of these states have taken large steps in getting these bill passed, and may be well on their way to becoming the 10th and 11th states to allow same sex marriage, which, if happens, could encourage more and more states to follow suit.