Rhode Island passes marriage equality bill
NEW YORK, April 24, 2013 – GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today responded to news that Rhode Island is now poised to become the 10th state (along with Washington D.C.) in the U.S. to make marriage equality the law, as the state Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry. The bill now heads back to the state House, which already approved a similar bill, for a final vote.
If signed into law, Rhode Island will become the last of six New England states to enact marriage equality, following Maine voters' victory at the ballot box in November. The bill has the support of Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, who has said he will sign it.
"This victory would not have been possible without the hard work of Rhode Island's marriage advocates, and the voices of the couples and families truly impacted by today's passage," said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz. "A strong majority of our nation now supports marriage equality, and as Americans continue to hear the stories of loving and committed same-sex couples who want to marry, that number will continue to grow."
Bills aimed at allowing same-sex couples to marry have been proposed in Rhode Island's General Assembly since the early 1990s, but this is the first time a bill has passed through both houses.