NewsNation | January 25, 2013
>>> advocates of same-sex marriage celebrating today. the rhode island house of representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. currently rhode island is the only new england state without such a law but as the ap reports today, it could be weeks or months before the senate takes up that bill and leaders say it faces more opposition when it does. frank ferry voted for the bill and joins us now. complain, obviously, overwhelming support and why should this be delayed or people fear it will be delayed moving over to the senate?
>> thank you, thomas. appreciate to have the opportunity to be on. i don't see it that way. i see it that i've been working on this for many years and we've come a long way. we have momentum. if it takes a few weeks, that is good. we'll use the few weeks to build our momentum. we have a lot of groundwork going. we're contacting the senators, working hard to make sure we get to the finish line.
>> all right. so there are opponents of this moving forward. the executive director of the national organization for marriage. we have interviewed them many times.
>> he is the person who is in charge of national organization for marriage in rhode island saying rhode island has bigger issues than gay marriage . we are tied for the worst unemployment rate in the nation. there's a lot of things on the agenda between now and whenever the senate decides to take this up. do you think that's fair criticism that there are bigger issues on the books to deal with than marriage equality right now in the state of rhode island ?
>> well, for me personally and the thousands of people in my position, me and my husband together for 32 years, this is a huge issue for us. i'm on finance committee in the house. i'm also the sub chair of general government . we'll be working hard on the economy. i'm doing a lot of research. i'm spending a lot of time in hearings. we're working on that. but this is a big issue for us. you know, what's funny about christopher plant. he's constituent and i was unopposed in the last election. i work hard for the district. they know i'm working on education, working on the economy. they know what i'm doing. they support me and they support me as a gay man.
>> frank, so last year, some people may know that rhode island 's governor signed in to law the fact that marriage is performed in other states recognized in rhode island . you bring up the fact you married your husband. why isn't that good enough for you?
>> because something different is -- separate is never equal. the only way it's going to be equal is when we have marriage because everybody understands marriage. we know marriage and what it means and conveys. it knows what it tells people. so personally, i won't stop until we have full marriage equality .
>> do you think you have the momentum? after watching the election in november and saw the ballot measures that took place around the country, the four different ones where people voted overwhelmingly in favor of marriage equality , do you feel that the wind's at your back on this issue and the ocean state is going to see the sea change of marriage equality ?
>> oh, i feel it. i know we do. i've been testifying at the state house before i was a representative. since 1998 i've been testifying. i have seen the momentum. i have seen the change and the change of heart . as we lgbt community just -- as more of us open and out and just doing our every day lives as openly gay people, it's changed minds. it's won over -- people just realize that we're just like everybody else . we deserve the same rights.
>> the bill passed overwhelmingly through the house 51-19. frank, thank you for your time and keep up the good work.