American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Rhode Island Legislature Passes Marriage Bill

Rhode Island will soon be joining its big siblings in New England with marriage equality.

The State Senate has approved marriage equality legislation by a 26-12 vote. After a concurring vote by the House, which has already approved similar legislation, the bill will go to Governor Lincoln Chaffee, who has promised to sign it into law.

Once that happens, the Ocean State will become the last in the Northeast to win the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian citizens. This move has been a long time coming. Back in late 2008, in the wake of Proposition 8, GLAD launched a “six by twelve” campaign to enact marriage equality in all six northeast states by 2012. Well, it took a couple months longer, but now at last the goal has been achieved.

Yesterday, the Senate’s Republican Caucus announced it unanimously supported the legislation, making it the first legislative caucus of any political party in any state to unanimously support the freedom to marry.

A recent poll by Public Policy Polling showed 57% of voters support the freedom to marry in RI, with just 35% opposed.

Watch this video of the vote: