PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, May 18, 2011 ( – A political compromise on marriage legislation has made temporary political bedfellows of two intractable foes in Rhode Island: pro-family advocates and gay activists.

Both the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and Marriage Equality Rhode Island (MERI) have come out in opposition to a civil unions bill that will give homosexual couples all the rights and benefits of marriage, except the name – albeit for very different reasons.

The House Judiciary Committee voted has 9-3 to approve the civil unions legislation for a full vote on the House floor. The vote should take place Thursday.

Rep. Edith Ajello (D-Providence) described the bill as “better than nothing,” according to the Boston Globe.

However, MERI refuses to support the bill, arguing that civil unions legislation would mean second class status for homosexual couples. NOM’s Rhode Island chapter has also denounced the measure, but because it paves the way for the courts to redefine marriage away from the union of a man and a woman.

The Globe reports that gay activists will push for an amendment on the House floor that would replace the civil unions bill with a same-sex “marriage” proposal.

However, Rhode Island legislators had already abandoned the push for same-sex “marriage” because they did not have the votes to pass the measure in the state Senate.

The Globe reports that Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed (D-Newport) is a supporter of civil unions legislation, and believes there is support in the Senate to pass a bill.