I tend to feel like the bottom is going to drop out, as marriage equality news and LGBT equality news just gets better and better as the days go by. It’s such a turnaround from just a couple of years ago that it be shocking to all of us who’ve been working for so long in these areas. But here’s the latest, Rhode Island has become the 10th state to pass marriage equality. All that’s missing is the Governor’s signature, but that’s a slam dunk since he’s one of those fighting for equality in his state…
On the subject of same-sex marriage, New England is now united.
Rhode Island became the 10th U.S. state and final one in the region to legalize gay weddings today, after its House of Representatives approved a bill expanding marriage rights to homosexuals. Governor Lincoln Chafee, a 60-year-old independent, had lobbied for the measure since taking office in 2011 and planned to sign it immediately.
“New England is now complete,” Marc Solomon, national campaign director at Freedom to Marry, a New York-based group that helps and funds local gay-rights organizations, said by telephone. “We have an entire region of the country that has approved the freedom to marry.”
Rhode Island’s law will take effect Aug. 1. In addition to the five other New England states -- Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts -- Washington, Iowa, New York, Maryland and the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to marry. Delaware, Illinois and Minnesota may all approve similar measures by May 31, Solomon said.
Chafee had pitched the measure as a way to spur economic development. He tentatively scheduled a bill signing ceremony for 5:45 p.m. local time, according to his office.
The law will make Rhode Island “a place that is welcoming to the younger generation, the creative generation, entrepreneurs,” he said in an interview at Bloomberg News headquarters in New York this week.