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Conley: Gay Marriage Swing Vote?

William Conley, the first-term state senator from East Providence, is viewed as among the 10 people who could decide the same-gender marriage bill in the General Assembly.

An East Providence state senator in his first term has been named as one of 10 people who could decide the fate of same-sex marriage in Rhode Island.

William Conley Jr. (D-18) is listed in a story in golocalprov.com as one of the 10 key votes because of his appointment to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Indeed, he is described as a "potential swing vote," according to the story.

The same-sex marriage debate kicks off today, Jan. 15, when the House Judiciary Committee takes up the bill that would allow same-gender couples to marry and change the definition of civil unions to marriages.

Conley is seen as one of the biggest question marks because he has not stated his preference on this issue.  A colleague said in the golocalprov.com story that Conley opposed gay marriage two years ago, and his district in East Providence and Pawtucket is identified as heavily Catholic.

But Conley reportedly is still making up his mind on the controversial bill, which has been targeted for defeat by a new group made up of religious leaders, the “Faith Alliance to Preserve the Sanctity of Marriage as Established by God.” The group is expected to be at the State House today.

Bob January 16, 2013 at 12:47 PM
Mr. Conley has for many year served on the Board at St. Brendans Church. It would seem imposible for him to vote for such a bill.
Govstench January 16, 2013 at 01:06 PM
I know Mr. Conley and he is a family man with good principles. I don't believe he is that left-leaning to go for this bill.
Barbara Gaines MD January 22, 2013 at 07:56 PM
I strongly hope that Mr. Conely considers all the constituents that he represents. Marriage strengthens all families and protects all children. Another person's marriage doesn't weaken mine. You have the right to think what you will from a religious point of view, but honosexuals are ethical, moral, law abiding people, who raise their children, and pay their taxes, and have the right to the same legal protections that my marriage affords me. Let us not be the Arizona of the east-- an island of intolerance amongst our New England brothers. I hope Mr Conely stands for the rights of all and supports marriage equality.

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