Rhode Island to Recognize Massachusetts Gay Marriages

Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch today released a non-binding directive expected to be recognized by most government agencies in the state, saying that same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts have legitimacy there, the AP reports:

Massri“‘Rhode Island will recognize same sex marriages lawfully performed in Massachusetts as marriages in Rhode Island,’ Lynch said in a letter dated Tuesday and released Wednesday. He said Rhode Island prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and also extends benefits such as health insurance to domestic partners of state employees. He said that with the absence of a law banning gay marriage, there’s no strong reason to deny recognition to gay marriages performed in Massachusetts, the only state where such unions are legal.”

Massachusetts and Rhode Island appear to have achieved a working harmony on this issue, as last September a Massachusetts Superior Court judge ruled in favor of allowing a same-sex couple from Rhode Island to marry there. At question was a 1913 law prohibiting out-of-state couples from marrying in Massachusetts if the marriage would not be recognized in their home state. Now, Rhode Island appears to be saying ‘yes’ as well.