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Gay Marriage Intrigue at Statehouse

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

 

As the gay marriage bill remains stalled in the House Judiciary Committee, Statehouse sources tell GoLocalProv that there is widespread talk that House Speaker Gordon Fox might intervene to get the bill out of the committee.

As the Speaker, House rules allow Fox to vote as an ex officio member of the committee. Several Statehouse sources say that could be one way to get the bill out of Judiciary. “I think he might come in and vote for it,” said Judiciary Committee member Charlene Lima.

Edith Ajello, the chair of the committee, confirmed that the possibility of having the Speaker vote had been discussed in a meeting of supporters of the bill. She couldn't recall when the meeting was or exactly who was in attendance.

Spokesman disputes sources' account

Asked if Fox planned on voting in the committee, spokesman Larry Berman yesterday said such questions were premature, since a date for the vote had not even been set. He said he did not know whether Fox would participate in the vote or not. “There’s nothing to it at this point,” Berman said.

Ajello said Fox’s vote would not be necessary for the measure to pass her committee. She said she believes the committee has enough votes to pass it, although she declined to provide a vote tally or a breakdown of who was for and against it—saying she did not want to speak for individual members.

But a GoLocalProv tally of the votes shows that the bill still faces an uphill battle. Based on interviews and public statements of the reps, GoLocalProv counts three confirmed yes votes and five no votes. That leaves six reps who did not respond to inquiries in time for publication and one who did, but said he did not yet have a public position on the bill.

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