As same-sex marriage becomes legal in Rhode Island Thursday, state Representative Frank Ferri and his longtime partner are among those planning to mark the day by tying the knot. It took almost 20 years to legalize same-sex marriage in the Ocean State.
Ferri and his partner, Tony Caparco, plan to marry in Warwick this evening with about 300 friends and family members on hand. House Speaker Gordon Fox will perform the ceremony. Ferri, a Warwick Democrat, says the newfound ability of gays and lesbians to marry in Rhode Island will lend special meaning to the nuptials.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee said Thursday will be a happy day in Rhode Island, now that the state’s same-sex marriage law is in effect. The governor has pushed for bringing same-sex marriage to the state since taking office. He said it will help create jobs.
“I do believe that young, creative people that want to come and do business, you just want to have a welcome mat out. I do believe it’s very, very important to growing the economy in Rhode Island," said Chafee.
Same sex marriage becomes the law of the state today Thursday. City and town clerks are well trained in the new law but don’t have any idea what kind of volume they’ll be dealing with.
State registrar Colleen Fontana has been working overtime instructing city and town clerks in the new law guaranteeing marriage rights to same sex couples. The new forms – giving couples the option of calling themselves ‘bride,’ ‘groom,’ or ‘spouse’ are printed. Now it’s just a waiting game to see how many people show up to apply today. Fontana said there’s just no way of knowing.
Channing Memorial Church in Newport will hold, as they’d call it, a service of celebration for the first day of marriage equality in Rhode Island this Thursday, August 1st. The event will include music, a brief listing of same-sex couples from the past thru the present and a number of different readings, including passages from the Supreme Court’s decision that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.
The City of Providence started accepting pre-applications for same-sex marriage licenses Monday, but the throngs of people expected failed to materialize. As of midday only two gay couples had applied, according to city registrar Serena Conley.
“Well this morning we’ve had two couples in. They were here bright and early, 8:30 in the morning, very excited to be here,” said Conley, who adds both couples were male. “They were extremely excited and very, very happy. One couple was actually grinning from ear to ear.”
When Gov. Lincoln Chafee and gay marriage advocates two years touted its economic benefits for Rhode Island they were widely disparaged. Rhode Island Public Radio's political analyst Scott MacKay explains why Chafee and his allies may well be right.
It’s unclear how exactly Wednesday's Supreme Court decision on DOMA will affect health care coverage for same-sex spouses. But Rhode Island’s largest health insurer has already been extending such benefits.
As an employer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island has been offering health coverage to its employees’ same-sex spouses since 2010, said Blue cross compliance officer Martha Holt Castle.
It’s unclear how exactly Wednesday's U.S. Supreme Court decision on DOMA will affect health care coverage for same-sex spouses. But Rhode Island’s largest health insurer has already been extending such benefits.
As an employer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island has been offering health coverage to its employees’ same-sex spouses since 2010, said Blue Cross compliance officer Martha Holt Castle.