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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

R.I. AFL-CIO board supports gay marriage bills

By Philip Marcelo -

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Rhode Island AFL-CIO executive board has for the first time voted to endorse legislation that would allow same-sex couples to marry in the state.
Rhode Island AFL-CIO President George Nee called the discussion of same-sex marriage a "fundamental civil rights issue."
He cited a 2004 General Accounting Office report that showed that there are 1,138 federal civil statutory rights and responsibilities associated with the word "marriage" to which Rhode Island same-sex couples are now denied.
The vote to support Senate bill S-0029 and House bill H-5012 took place at the March executive board meeting, according to a news release from the union. Nee said about 40 members of the executive board attended the meeting. and of those who voted, none voted against the statement of support for same-sex marriage.
The Rhode Island AFL-CIO serves as the umbrella organization for more than 250 local unions and represents more than 80,000 workers in the state.


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