Kerry tackles questions on Iran, Syria and climate R.I. House OKs gay marriage DC statehood introduced again
WASHINGTON -- Sen. John Kerry, President Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of state, collected pledges of support Thursday and testified at his confirmation hearing that U.S. foreign policy should be defined by a helping hand as well as military strength.
The Massachusetts Democrat discussed Iran, Syria, climate change and a variety of issues with members of the Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing that recalled an unusual American life -- son of a diplomat, Navy lieutenant who volunteered for Vietnam, anti-war protester, five-term senator, unsuccessful nominee for president, and Obama's unofficial envoy.
The current secretary, Hillary Rodham Clinton, introduced Kerry, calling him "the right choice." She is stepping down after four years.
The committee is expected to approve Kerry's nomination. A full Senate vote will take place Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said..
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Rhode Island House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly passed legislation to allow gays and lesbians to marry in the only New England state where they can't.
The House voted 51-19 after an often emotional debate that touched on civil rights, religion and the nature of marriage. The bill now moves to the Senate, where both supporters and opponents of gay marriage say it is difficult to predict the bill's fate.
"This has been a long journey," said House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is gay and supported same-sex legislation when it was first introduced in 1997. "Today is a great day. Today ... we stand for equality, we stand for justice."
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware has introduced a bill that would make the District of Columbia the nation's 51st state.
While the bill has little chance of passing, the introduction shows that Carper is taking up the cause of statehood for the district. Carper is the incoming chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversees the nation's capital. His predecessor, Joseph Lieberman, was a longtime advocate for district voting rights and introduced a statehood bill during the last Congress.
The bill is co-sponsored by three of Carper's fellow Democrats: Barbara Boxer of California, Richard Durbin of Illinois and Patty Murray of Washington.
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the district in Congress, has introduced a statehood bill in the House.