Rhode Island's long-simmering debate on gay marriage heads to a pivotal vote when a legislative committee decides whether to forward the legislation to the full Senate for a final vote. The entire Senate could take up the bill by week's end if the Senate Judiciary Committee votes in favor of the measure Tuesday. The House passed the bill in January. Supporters said they are cautiously optimistic that momentum is on their side. "We're not there yet, but I do believe a majority of senators support granting civil rights to gay people," said Sen. Donna Nesselbush, D-Pawtucket. Nesselbush is gay and the lead sponsor of the legislation in the Senate.
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