Rhode Island lawmakers are working out the details of legislation that would create civil unions and plan to introduce the proposal next week.
A House spokesman said Thursday that lawmakers are reviewing civil union laws in other states to help them craft the proposal, which could be introduced Tuesday.
The new bill comes after House Speaker Gordon Fox declared that gay marriage legislation wouldn’t pass the General Assembly this year. Fox, who is gay, now supports civil unions as a more politically feasible alternative.
This development is a disappointment for groups that fought for marriage equality this year in Rhode Island. They say they’ll oppose any proposal that falls short of full marriage. Gay marriage opponents also oppose civil unions.
Rep. Frank Ferri, a Warwick Democrat who is gay, has stated that he wants to see the bill’s details before making up his mind.