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MERI vows to challenge “anti-equality lawmakers” in 2012

September 2, 2011

While House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed have said they don’t expect same-sex marriage legislation to move foward next year, Marriage Equality Rhode Island (MERI) says it plans to follow through on a pledge to challenge legislative opponents at the ballot box in 2012.

In one sign of the battle to come, MERI campaign director Ray Sullivan says he plans to remain in that role through the conclusion of next year’s political season. His Twitter feed offers a hint of the battles to come.

Sullivan, a former state rep, left his job as an aide to US Representative Jim Langevin earlier this year to direct MERI’s campaign. Seth Klaiman, who worked in a finance role on Langevin’s last run, has signed on to manage the Warwick Democrat’s reelection campaign in 2012.

Back at MERI, Sullivan says he will direct a legislative campaign as well as an effort that “will focus on unseating anti-equality legislators.” The legislative campaign will push for same-sex marriage, he says, and target the repeal of the Corvese amendment. Critics call that amendment an overly broad restriction on same-sex rights.

Sullivan would not specify how many candidates MERI hopes to support, although he pledges a vigorous campaign that, he predicts, will oust some legislative opponents of same-sex marriage.

Opponents of same-sex marriage, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence and the National Organization for Marriage Rhode Island, can also be expected to make a big legislative push in 2012.

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