Activists like you have made huge strides toward making equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in Rhode Island. Several legislators have changed their stance on marriage equality from "no" to "undecided", or from "undecided" to "yes". In addition, the number of sponsors of the marriage bills has jumped from 11 to 26. This success has resulted from the work of people like you who have educated our legislators, and our community at large, about the importance of equal marriage.
Hearing dates have finally been scheduled for both bills, one in the House and one in the Senate. There is now a real chance to move the committee members by having a strong showing of compelling stories. The Senate hearing is Tuesday, May 17 at the rise of the Senate (around 4:30 p.m.) for bill S 217. The House hearing is Wednesday, May 18 at the rise of the House (around 4:30 p.m.) for bill H 5660.
At these hearings, you can make a short presentation on why marriage equality is important to you and/or how it will help the state. Make it short - only about 3 minutes. You can also submit written testimony and present it to the Judiciary Committee in person or just send written testimony to Jenn Steinfeld, co-chair of Marriage Equality Rhode Island at jsteinfeld@MarriageEqualityRI.org if you cannot attend the hearing.
You are welcome to be present and/or testify at both hearings, but please be advised that Marriage Equality RI requests that the biggest crowd come to the RI House hearing on Wednesday, May 18. Support in the RI House for marriage equality is very strong and we want to make a good showing. For directions to the statehouse, visit: http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/statehouse/end.htm.
When you arrive at the statehouse, look for a MERI representative who will help you to sign-up to testify. You can use the same testimony for both hearings - it's different legislators - so you don't have do write up anything extra. If you need editorial help, please feel free to email Jenn at jsteinfeld@MarriageEqualityRI.org or call Jenn or Jennifer Stevens at 463-5368 x345.
The HRC Marriage Team
P.S. If you haven't already done so, please contact your state legislators and ask them to support H 5660 and S 217. To look up your elected officials, visit: http://www.sec.state.ri.us/elections/findyourofficials/index.html.