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Smallest state is big battleground on gay marriage

11:00 PM, Jan 15, 2013   |    comments
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island lawmakers could vote by the end of the month on legislation that would allow gays and lesbians to marry in the Ocean State.

Hundreds of gay marriage supporters and opponents crammed the Statehouse Tuesday as a House committee heard several hours of testimony. One rally in the center of the Statehouse drowned out some of those testifying in a third-floor room.

Rhode Island allows same-sex couples to create civil unions but efforts to pass gay marriage here have fallen flat. The state is now the only state in New England that doesn't allow same-sex couples to wed.

House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is gay, wants the House to vote on the issue by month's end.

Nine states and the District of Columbia currently allow gay marriage.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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