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Providence Reviewing Possibility of Same-Sex Marriage (posted February 29, 2004

Providence Mayor David Cicilline says the city is looking at the possibility of issuing licenses for same-sex marriages. Appearing on the WJAR-TV show "10 News Conference" with Jim Taricani and Bill Rappleye, the mayor reiterated his support for same-sex marriage. "I always have supported gay marriage," Cicilline said. "The question is whether current law permits it." So far, there have been no requests for same-sex marriage licenses in Providence, but the mayor indicated that he had directed City Solicitor Joe Fernandez to study the legal issue. Right now, he said, the matter was a question of "state statutory construction".

Cicilline also defended his practice of using a charitable, privately-financed Fund for Providence to supplement the city budget. The Rhode Island Foundation fund raises money from local leaders and corporations and has been used to pay for city studies and city personnel. Right now, money from the fund is being used to supplement the compensation of John Simmons, the city's director of administration. According to Cicilline, the concept is "new to Providence, but not new to cities" around the country. Responding to complaints about possible conflicts of interest between outside donors and the city, the mayor defended the practice and said "we never would have gotten half the things done without this."

The mayor indicated he plans to seek re-election in 2006, when his current term ends. "I love this job," he said and "absolutely" plans to run again for mayor.
Copyright 2000Karen Martin Media Services