There are two proposals on the agenda. The first is a legislative amendment (i.e., one that was introduced by a legislator rather than through the initiative process) which would not only ban gay marriage but would also appear to bar civil union and domestic partnership legislation. The second is the initiative petition that would simply restrict marriages to one man and one woman, but says nothing about civil unions.
They’re debating the first one now. Sen. Augustus is arguing strongly against it.
UPDATE: Rep. O’Brien (D-Kingston) is up now, also arguing against the amendment. This is going to go on for some time. I assume that this amendment doesn’t have a chance of getting the majority vote it needs — but then they move on to the next one, which needs only 50 votes. Are they going to go through the entire debating exercise again?
FURTHER UPDATE: Rep. Travis (“D”-Rehoboth) is up now. He says he’s voting against the first question — the legislative amendment — because it’s an old issue that’s no longer on the table (among other things, it would appear to nullify existing marriages, which cannot be done). He’s accusing Sen. Barrios, who apparently is the one who put this on the agenda, of trying to deceive his colleagues by diverting attention from the initiative amendment. He says there are already at least 12 people signed up to debate this amendment, and is expressing concern that amendment opponents will try to run out the clock.