The push to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island this year is over because of a lack of support in the Senate, openly gay House Speaker Gordon Fox said April 27.
Fox said he would try to pass a civil-union law instead.
Lobby group Marriage Equality Rhode Island expressed "staunch opposition" to that plan.
"The General Assembly will essentially be legalizing a two-class system that subjects thousands of Rhode Island same-sex couples to discrimination," said MERI board chair Martha Holt. "We are extremely disappointed in the lack of leadership at the state House and we would urge Speaker Fox to rethink sponsoring legislation that would create a second class of citizens."
Freedom to Marry's national campaign director, Marc Solomon, called Fox's move "a serious miscalculation."
"With support for the freedom to marry topping 60 percent -- higher than in any other state in the country -- and with a strongly supportive governor, the Rhode Island House should send a marriage bill -- and nothing less -- to the Senate now," Solomon said.