Gay Rhode Island House Speaker decides not to support gay marriage bill

Wed. May 18, 2011 10:19 AM by News Staff

rhode island state rep. gordon fox (d)

Providence, RI - Openly gay Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox is under attack for supporting civil unions instead of gay marriage.

The Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee approved a civil unions bill on Tuesday. It now goes to the full House for a floor vote, expected on Thursday.

Fox said he just doesn't have the votes to get gay marriage approved.

"In my opinion he's a self-loathing homophobe," one voter told The Associated Press.

"These folks were looking for a champion," Fox, a Providence Democrat, told The Associated Press. "It hurts me to think that I'm not quite their champion at this point. That bothers me. Because so many people were waiting for so long ... but you have to be able to move votes."

Fox has served in the legislature for more than 20 years. He came out in 2004, but does not spend a lot of time talking about gay issues or his own sexuality.