Chafee Set to Sign Same-Sex Marriage Bills on Thursday
Governor Lincoln Chafee, who emphasized same-sex marriage during his inaugural address on the south side of the Statehouse in 2011, is set to use the same location Thursday to sign same-sex marriage bills into law.
The signing ceremony is tentatively planned for 5:45 p.m. Thursday, after the House is expected to offer final passage of the legislation. Rhode Island will become the tenth US state to legalize same-sex marriage, and the last in New England to do so.
On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee made quick work of passing two companion same-sex marriage bills, approving both, 13-0.
Representative Doreen Costa (R-North Kingstown) indicated that although she was voting for the bills in committee, she will oppose them during the floor vote slated for Thursday.
The vote followed a small amount of testimony. Longtime activist Kate Monteiro touched on the effort going back to 1997 to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. Perennial opponents Chris and Kara Young warned of dire consequences from moving forward with same-gender nuptials.
The Senate approved the same-sex marriage bills last Wednesday.
This post has been updated.