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.
"It’s one step further to really history being made in Rhode Island and Rhode Island being the 10th state to recognize marriage equality," said Butke.
The full House is slated to take up the same-sex marriage bills tomorrow afternoon. The first such bill in the state was introduced in the House back in 1997.