After a 16-year-fight, Rhode Island yesterday (Thursday) became the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. As Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis reports, supporters hailed the development as a victory for grassroots democracy.
Governor Lincoln Chafee signed two companion bills into law shortly after they were approved, 56-to-15, during a final vote in the House of Representatives. Chafee told an audience of hundreds of people in front of the Statehouse that gays and lesbians have been seeking equality for a long time.
Rhode Island has the nation’s highest concentration of individuals over the age of 85. So, it should come as no surprise that we also have a lot of centenarians. Some of them were honored today at the Governor’s Annual Centenarian Brunch. Rhode Island Public Radio's Flo Jonic was there.
Governor Lincoln Chafee is expected Thursday to sign into law legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. The House Judiciary Committee quickly approved the bills Tuesday.
Any uncertainty facing the same-sex bills was eliminated when the state Senate overwhelmingly approved them last week. In a largely procedural matter, House Judiciary followed up with an unanimous 13-to-zero vote. Education activist Maryellen Butke, who can recall how fellow gays and lesbians once faced overt hostility in Rhode Island, called the vote historic.
Change happens slowly in politics. Except when it doesn’t. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay explains the forces behind Rhode Island’s reversal on gay marriage.
The Ocean State is poised to become the 10th state in the nation to recognize same sex marriages and join our five New England neighbors in the vanguard of the movement for equal treatment for gay citizens.