Big-name gay-marriage backers hosting fundraiser Wednesday

Same-sex marriage supporters are predicting a heavy turnout Wednesday night at a fundraiser on Providence’s wealthy East Side that will benefit the advocacy group Rhode Islanders United for Marriage.

More than 90 people have RSVP’d to say they’re planning to attend the event at the Firglade Avenue home of Maryellen Butke, the prominent education activist and 2012 state Senate candidate, and her partner, Jo O’Connell. Suggested contributions start at $50.

The host committee for the event includes Democratic Congressman David Cicilline, Treasurer Gina Raimondo, House Speaker Gordon Fox and Pawtucket Sen. Donna Nesselbush, a lead sponsor of the marriage bill. Also on the list are real-estate developer Buff Chace and Xay Khamsyvoravong, who was former Treasurer Frank Caprio’s campaign manager.

The Rhode Islanders United for Marriage campaign staff will provide attendees with an update on the status of marriage legislation at the State House. Advocates got a boost Sunday when Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed announced she expects a vote before the end of this month.

Butke’s 12-year-old son made national headlines when he testified in support of same-sex marriage last month. “There has been such a groundswell of support for marriage equality,” she told in an email. “I feel so moved by what is happening locally and nationally. This is a major sea change.”

Union leaders hosted their own fundraiser for Rhode Islanders United for Marriage on Monday.

  • Eric

    Marriage is a church sacrament–has been for thousands of years and is between a man and a woman.

    That poor 12 year old boy, like by many liberals, is nothing but a pawn to be exploited to fulfll their own twisted and selfish agendas. He gets thrown around like a ping pong ball between two gay couples? Yeah, that’s a healthy and stable lifestyle….

    Gays and atheists want poeple of faith to stay out of their lives, yet, gays want to FORCE poeple of faith to do their wedding photos and cakes? Where is that freedom? Where is that mutual respect? That is nothing but Nazi-type and rapist behavior–making people do things against their will. Some of your types don’t want the churches telling you what to do, well, give the same respect to the faithful and keep your bedroom antics out of the churches.

    Gays, you got your civil unions and that is all you deserve. Stop acting like whiney little b*tches! Gays are not like straight poeple, thus, your partnerships should not be called a marriage. A duck is a duck, a car is not a violin, a marriage is NOT between the same sexes. And marriage is also NOT a human right, it’s an option.

    Do what you want with your lives, but stop trying to trample other’s rights, beliefs, values and terminologies to make yourselves feel self-righteous and to fulfill your desires.

    **gina raimondo, gordon fox, jo o’connell, m. teresa paiva weed, Sissylini==yes, they are big names=in corruption, cronie politics and evil.

  • Education activist Butke mulling run for mayor of Providence | Blogs

    […] governor in 2014 rather than seek a second term. Butke – who lives on the East Side and is hosting a big-name fundraiser Wednesday night to benefit same-sex marriage advocates – said she wants to see who else jumps […]

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