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Gay activists praise Rhode Island’s marriage equality vote while NOM predicts dire consequences

R.I. Gov. Lincoln Chafee

Yesterday, the Rhode Island state senate approved a same-sex marriage bill that will almost certainly see the small, New England state enact marriage equality. The state's House of Representatives had already passed similar legislation and Gov. Lincoln Chafee has promised to sign.

Rhode Island would be the 10th U.S. state to allow such unions to be performed in its jurisdiction.

Freedom to Marry's National Campaign Director Marc Solomon hailed the victory and thanked local politicos for their efforts in a statement released yesterday:

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R.I. House votes for marriage equality; bill also introduced in Hawaii

R.I. Gov. Lincoln Chafee

The Rhode Island House of Representatives today approved a bill that would allow legal marriages between same-sex couples. The vote was 51-19.

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an Independent, last week urged his state's legislature to move forward on marriage and to give him a bill to sign. Democrats listened and quickly advanced a marriage equality bill through the House.

“Rhode Island, as you all know, has a legacy of tolerance. It is the ideal upon which we were founded,” Chafee said Jan. 14. “It is time to honor and affirm that legacy by ensuring that same-sex couples can enjoy the same fundamental rights, benefits and privileges as all other citizens of our state.”