The timing couldn’t be better. Just hours before the Judiciary Committee of the Rhode Island state Senate is scheduled to vote on the marriage equality bill (S38), the Senate Republican Caucus has announced their unanimous support for marriage equality.

Senate Republicans United for Freedom

STATE HOUSE – Our Senate Republican Caucus is deeply committed to the values of freedom, liberty and limited government. In accordance with those values, we believe that freedom means freedom for everyone, and that every citizen of Rhode Island deserves the freedom to marry the person they love.

We support Senate Bill 38 because it rightfully extends the civil aspects of marriage to all Rhode Islanders while protecting the freedom of religion our state was founded upon. Gay and lesbian couples deserve to be treated equally under the law, and at the same time churches, synagogues and mosques in our state must be free to exercise their faith and their sacraments as they see fit. This bill strikes the right balance and should be passed by the Senate.

We recognize that there is a national consensus building on this generational issue, and we are glad that support for the freedom to marry is growing within the Republican Party.

Today we join the 209 other Republican state legislators across America who have stood up for the freedom to marry. As a united Senate Republican Caucus, we are proud to add our voices to reaffirm the principles of freedom and equality under the law.

Rhode Island Senate Republican Caucus
Senator Dennis Algiere
Senator David Bates
Senator Dawson Hodgson
Senator Nicholas Kettle
Senator Chris Ottiano

*Note: The Rhode Island Senate GOP Caucus the first legislative caucus of either political party in any state to unanimously support the freedom to marry.

National Organization for Marriage’s previous attempts to divide state Republicans and intimidate Sen. Algiere into supporting discrimination were apparently unsuccessful.

“The unanimous endorsement from the Senate Republican Caucus shows that marriage for gay and lesbian couples isn’t a partisan issue — but an issue of fairness that supersedes politics,” Rhode Islanders United for Marriage responded.

The Senate judiciary Committee vote is scheduled for 3 pm and can be watched live here.  Proposed substitute bills have been posted here.