Rhode Island Gives Final Approval to Marriage Equality; Governor Signs Bill


Rhode Island has approved marriage equality with a final House vote of 56-15!

Governor Lincoln Chafee announced yesterday that he would sign the bill at the Rhode Island State House at 5:45 pm today. The law will take effect beginning August 1. 

UPDATE: Watch signing LIVE here.

UPDATE: The Governor has signed the bill. Rhode Island is now the 10th U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage, along with the District of Columbia.


  1. K says

    Even after going through this 10 times, these still manage to make me a little weepy!

  2. Jellybean says

    I so wanted to see this. But I had all kinds of streaming problems. I was wondering if it was my computer or did they have too many people streaming that it didn’t work?

  3. RONTEX says

    I’m right there with you K, I’m 50 and never thought I would see anything like this, feels awesome. So happy for the young generation to reap what we have sown

  4. RONTEX says

    I’m right there with you K, I’m 50 and never thought I would see anything like this, feels awesome. So happy for the young generation to reap what we have sown

  5. Zlick says

    This got me all gushy, too. Loved seeing how happy everyone was and the celebratory nature of this bill signing. Welcome into the fold of Enlightened New England, Rhode Island.

    With adjoining New York, this makes an entire contiguous block of the nation a Marriage Equality Bastion. Hahaha, yep all you rednecks, it’s the NorthEast.

    I think we’ll soon have the entire West Coast as well. And then we’ll just squeeze some modernity out of the middle of the country over time. Or, if the Supremes see the writing on the wall or feel like doing their job of actually upholding the Constitution, we might have national marriage equality a lot sooner than that!

  6. Francis #1 says

    It’s official! Congrats to Rhode Island!

    After a very slow start, the recent legislative movement on our rights has been awesome to see. Hopefully now we can win in at least Delaware now and the SCOTUS doesn’t issue too narrow a ruling regarding Prop 8. It would be disappointing to end up with only one state with full equality this year after having so many on the verge so hopefully the momentum from Rhode Island transfers to other states!

  7. Icebloo says

    GREAT NEWS ! Hopefully Delaware give us another victory in the coming few weeks.

    We also still have a shot at Illinois this year if enough people contact those weak, spineless self-serving Democrats who are too scared to vote with us.

  8. Francis #1 says

    It was amazing seeing the large crowd there celebrating equality. Gordon Fox’s speech was beautiful and touching.

    The big question at this point is–will the momentum we’re seeing now carry throughout Middle America. 9 of the 11 places with equality in the country are in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic. California will have at least some equality in June. Delaware is another East state. Will our movement come to a halt after we win throughout the East and West Coasts or can we win at all in the rest of the country?

    I think the SCOTUS ruling is gonna be big in terms of the direction our movement goes. Progress will either remain slow and steady as it is now, or it will explode, IMO.

  9. Mary says

    Congrats to all who have worked so hard to achieve this victory – and those who will be able to marry because of it.

    But I’ve learned one thing from being alive 52 years – never assume victory is inevitable and never assume things can’t get worse. Seeing the Supreme Court mandate marriage equality in all 50 states is just too damn risky. Settle for 2 states a year legalizing SSM – the broader the historical change you’re seeking, the more you want to go slow and steady These recent clashes between gay rights and religion are not a good development. But on the plus side, since we now have the whole Northeast with SSM, future victories will come in the Midwest and Western states – proving that marriage equality is truly a national change. This should cause the remaining opponents to evolve at a faster rate. Another year or two with 2 states a year changing over is a good development. Change will come faster in a few years. You won’t have to wait 2 decades for the whole country to come on board with this.

  10. Anthony says

    I think at some point the public will get sick of this issue and just want it legalized so they would stop hearing about it.

  11. Mary says

    That makes sense, Anthony. But the exact same thing was said about ERA in the 1970’s and it ended up never getting passed at all. And ERA then was far less controversial than SSM is now. Although it ended up being a moot point because almost everything liberals wanted ERA to achieve ended up being achieved through the 14th amendment overt time.