Lincoln Chafee Hub

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee Switches from Independent to Democrat

ChafeeRhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has joined the Democratic Party, Politico reports:

Chafee quietly informed President Barack Obama of his intention to affiliate as a Democrat after reaching that decision in private, Chafee spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger said. The governor’s office confirmed Chafee’s plans after POLITICO reported that the governor had notified national Democrats that he’d be joining the party.

A former Republican who served with Obama in the Senate, Chafee has struggled with perilously low job approval ratings and faces a difficult reelection fight in 2014.

R.I. Governor Lincoln Chafee on His State and the Federal March to Marriage Equality: VIDEO


Shortly after signing Rhode Island's marriage equality bill into law, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show to discuss his state's vote and the federal march toward marriage equality. Melissa Harris-Perry was filling in for Rachel.


Continue reading "R.I. Governor Lincoln Chafee on His State and the Federal March to Marriage Equality: VIDEO" »

Rhode Island Becomes 10th State to Pass Marriage Equality: VIDEOS


Highlights of today's final vote and signing of Rhode Island's marriage equality bill from the Providence Journal and WPRI, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Rhode Island Becomes 10th State to Pass Marriage Equality: VIDEOS" »

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee on Why Signing Marriage Equality into Law Today Will Be So Gratifying

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee will sign the marriage equality bill today at 5:45 on the steps of the State House after the House makes its procedural vote on the bill.

ChafeeChafee writes in the NY Times about why it will be so gratifying for him:

When I first defended gay marriage in 2004, as a Republican United States senator, most of my party colleagues were extreme in their opposition. In fact, to draw a line in the sand, they scheduled a vote on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in June 2006 — just before the height of a campaign season.

In the end, only six Republican senators joined me in opposing the amendment: Susan Collins, Judd Gregg, John McCain, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter and John E. Sununu. Of those, only Mr. McCain and Ms. Collins remain in the Senate. Even many of those Republicans opposing a constitutional ban avoided taking a position on gay marriage by saying it was an issue best left to the states. But I went further and announced my support for full marriage equality.

I was one of only four members of the entire Senate to take that stand, along with Senators Ron Wyden, Edward M. Kennedy and Russell Feingold — three of the most socially liberal members of the chamber at the time. Hardly common company for a Republican.

As it turned out, I did lose office in 2006, as part of the general rejection of Republican leadership that year. But I was elected governor as an independent in 2010, and I was proud to see that my stand on gay marriage stood up well over the years...

Read his full piece (much more) here.

Rhode Island Governor to Sign Marriage Equality Thursday After Final (Procedural) House Vote


Rhode Island's marriage equality law will be signed on Thursday afternoon on the south steps of the State House, Governor Lincoln Chafee announced yesterday.

RiThe bill must go through one more largely procedural vote in the House, the AP reports:

The outcome of Thursday's House vote is not in doubt, as the House overwhelmingly passed an earlier version of the bill in January. The Senate passed the bill by a comfortable margin last week, but it had to return to the House because of small changes made in the Senate.

Soon, all of New England will have marriage equality as Rhode Island becomes the 10th state in the union to embrace it.

Watch a video from Chafee's swearing in in January 2011 in which he calls on lawmakers to introduce and pass a marriage equality bill, AFTER THE JUMP...

It's finally here.

Continue reading "Rhode Island Governor to Sign Marriage Equality Thursday After Final (Procedural) House Vote" »

Rhode Island House Panel Advances Marriage Equality Bill in Unanimous 11-0 Vote

The Rhode Island House of Representatives has voted 11-0 to send a marriage equality bill to the full House, which could vote on it as early as Thursday.

RiIt is expected to pass the full House but faces a tougher battle in the Senate.

Governor Lincoln Chafee released a statement:

I am pleased that, with the House Judiciary Committee’s vote this afternoon, Rhode Island has taken another significant step forward toward marriage equality.

As I noted in my State of the State Address last week, there are a number of reasons why we should bring marriage equality to Rhode Island this year. It is a civil rights issue, it is an issue of basic fairness, and it is an economic development issue. We are at an economic disadvantage with our neighboring states when we do not ‘have the welcome mat out’ for all those who want to work here and contribute to our economy. Rhode Island already lags behind all of our New England neighbors on this issue; we should swiftly remedy that for the good of our economy and the rights of our citizens.

With this afternoon’s vote, we are one step closer to the day when gay and lesbian Rhode Islanders can enjoy the same fundamental rights, benefits, and privileges as all other citizens of our state. It is my hope that that day will come soon. I urge the leaders of the House and Senate to call the roll, and I will be proud to sign this important legislation when it reaches my desk.

It's time for all Rhode Islanders to contact your lawmakers....


Towleroad - Blogged