RI Senate leader: exemption key to marriage debate

1:23 PM, Jan 25, 2013   |    comments
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The leader of Rhode Island's Senate says the fate of gay marriage legislation could hinge on the exemptions it includes for religious organizations that oppose it.

The House overwhelmingly passed the legislation Thursday, but its fate is uncertain because of opposition in the Senate.

Democratic Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed said Friday she opposes the bill that passed.

She said she is hearing the sticking point for many senators is on how broad of a religious exemption is included.

She made her comments during a taping of WJAR-TV's "10 News Conference."

Paiva Weed says it's a personal and emotional issue with which many senators are struggling. She promises a "full and fair debate" that could take time.

Rhode Island is the only New England state that doesn't allow gay marriage.

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