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.


  1. DAVE! says

    In theory, a gay marriage license from MA should be good in any state in the Union. Straight people don’t get married over and over again every time they move across state lines… nor do they get divorced in every state they lived in as a married couple. It’s part of the Constitution (the Full Faith and Credit Clause)that public records (money, loans, adoptions, criminal records, etc) in one state count just the same in another. The fact that a gay marriage / civil union / whatever is not recognized across state lines is just one more way that gay people are totally screwed over and discriminated against.

    Eventuallly, either Congress or the US Supreme Court will have to settle the debate on a national / 50 state basis and validate or invalidate all of these permutations of marriage. Hopefully, the people in power when it happens are favorable to things like equality and freedom.

  2. Rob (lrdarystar) says

    I wish we could actually marry here in R.I. Granted, I’m not in the position to do so, but I know so many gay and lesbian couples here. More and more are moving from the south to R.I. And I hear the same thing when I ask, “Why not MA?” They always say the community in RI is tighter.


    Governor Donald Carcieri has disappointed me in what I perceive to be his inability to voice support for gay marriage. I think he’s just shying away from the issue until there’s more support on the matter, which from what I understand is about 46% of the voting populace.

  3. Ed says

    Hat’s off to New England in this regard, but giving us presidential candidate Romney kind of dampens your bragging rights.