Rhode Island’s Lincoln Chafee Signs Civil Unions Into Law

Lincoln_Chafee Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee today signed his state's recently passed civil unions legislation into law.

Though the governor said that civil unions are still insufficient when compared to full marriage rights, the new law "brings tangible rights and benefits to thousands of Rhode Islanders."

He continued, "[the law] provides a foundation from which we will continue to fight for full marriage equality.”

With Chafee's signature, Rhode Island becomes the fifth state in the nation to support civil unions.

Neighboring states Connecticut and Massachusetts, as well as nearby Vermont and New Hampshire, allow full marriage for same-sex couples, leaving Rhode Island a bit of the odd man out in New England.

But not as odd as Maine, where LGBT activists are pushing for a new marriage initiative.


  1. Rucka says

    It’s more than a dollar short — if I have an medical emergency in RI and get taken to Catholic hospital, they could prevent my husband from visiting or speaking for me???

  2. JSH says

    Well, I suppose it’s better than nothing — and, as some have pointed out, a start on the road to equality. After all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, doesn’t it?

  3. r says

    congrats to RI, but too bad the Catholic bigots prevented marriage equality.

    of course there’s no real difference between civil unions and marriage until marriage is recognized at the federal level (social security benefits, no federal taxes on spouses’ health insurance)

  4. Jeffrey Dunivant says

    It’s still not marriage! If the president would “evolve” already and put it to rest. Half of them will not leave with the bunch of far-right lunatics! There is not a credible candidate out there that could beat the president! Yet!!!

  5. Joseph R Yungk says

    It’s worse than nothing. Now they actually have a legal excuse to prevent you from getting appropriate medical care or anything else due to “religious objections”.
    Think about it next time you try to make a hotel reservation.

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