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Rhode Island Governor Promises To Sign Marriage Bill Thursday Afternoon At 5:45

by David Badash on April 30, 2013

in Marriage,News,Politics

Post image for Rhode Island Governor Promises To Sign Marriage Bill Thursday Afternoon At 5:45

Governor Lincoln Chafee says he will sign Rhode Island‘s marriage equality bill into law at 5:45 PM EDT on Thursday.

The House will vote and is fully expected to pass the bill on Thursday. The vote, called “largely procedural,” ties up a few loose ends after last week’s Senate passage, with a 26-12 vote.

The full House already passed the bill in January, by a 51-19 vote.

 

 

 

“Gov. Lincoln Chafee is expected to sign the bill into law quickly after it passes the House,” the AP reports:

There was little testimony at [last] Thursday’s brief hearing on the legislation— a big departure from the hours-long hearings earlier this year and in previous years that attracted hundreds of people on both sides of the debate. With the bill all but passed, most opponents stayed away.

Testimony focused on the changes made to the bill by the Senate. The bill that passed the House stated that religious institutions may set their own rules regarding who is eligible to marry within the faith and specifies that no religious leader is obligated to officiate at any marriage ceremony. The Senate added language to ensure that groups like the Knights of Columbus aren’t legally obligated to provide facilities for same-sex weddings.

Supporters said they could live with the changes.

Governor Chafee, now an independent, was a Republican and the first sitting Republican U.S. Senator to support same-sex marriage. Upon seeing the Senate pass the bill last week, Chafee told reporters, “I am always proud to be a Rhode Islander, but never more so than today.”

Last week, legislatures in the states of Nevada, Delaware, and Rhode Island, and lawmakers in the country of France voted on making same-sex marriage legal. All votes were successful, with France enacting marriage equality, and Rhode Island and Delaware coming close to fulfilling equality measures. Nevada is in the process of putting the issue before voters in 2016.

Rhode Island will become the tenth state in the nation to extend marriage to same-sex couples.

 

Image via Governor Chafee’s Twitter account.

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