Rhode Island gets its
first black, gay
Posted by Michael
Winter, From the Web. February 12, 2010
Gordon Fox, D-Providence, was Rhode Island House Majority Leader
before being elected speaker today.
By Steven Senne, AP
Rhode Island lawmakers have elected
the state's first black and first openly gay House speaker.
Rep. Gordon Fox, a 48-year-old lawyer representing Providence, succeeds fellow
Democrat William Murphy, who announced in September he would not seek
He said in an interview with The Providence Journal that he is "in a long-term
relationship, but not officially married. ... When I get married, I would like
to do it in my home state."
Rhode Island is the only New England state that has not made same-sex marriage
legal. Will he try to change that?
Fox said he was reluctant to make a hard-and-fast commitment to bring the issue
to the House floor for a vote after Murphy leaves, without "a lot of internal
discussions." But, "we should have equal marriage rights in Rhode Island.
... That would definitely be something on a personal level I would like to see."
Fox is biracial — his father is Irish, his mother Cape Verdean — but, like
President Obama, he considers himself black. He does so, the ProJo writes,
because he hopes his achievements will serve as a role model for black
youngsters, to send them a message: "If I can do it, you can do it also."