A couple exchanges rings on the steps of New York...

A couple exchanges rings on the steps of New York City Hall. (March 18, 2004) Credit: Getty Images

Rhode Island’s House speaker says legislation extending marriage rights to gay couples is dead for the year.
House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is gay and is a leading supporter of the gay marriage bill, says that it’s clear the bill won’t overcome opposition in the Senate.
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.

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