The number of U.S. states allowing gay marriage is set to enter double digits now that Rhode Island's state Senate has taken a landmark vote. Legislation allowing gay and lesbian couples to wed passed Wednesday evening by a comfortable 26-12 margin. The House has already passed the bill, but will hold a largely procedural final vote next week before the bill goes to Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an independent, who said he will sign it into law. When he does, the last holdout in the region will join the five other New England states that already allow gay marriage. Nine states and the District of Columbia now allow gay marriage. Delaware could be the next state to follow suit — gay marriage legislation narrowly passed the Delaware House on Tuesday and now heads to that state's Senate for consideration.