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.
“I know you have loved ones who dreamed this would happen, but did not love to see it. But I am proud to say that now at long last you are free to marry the person you love"
Rhode Island’s first same-sex marriage bill was introduced in 1997, but attempts to move the issue forward languished until this year. Opponents warn of unforeseen consequences from legalizing same-sex marriage. Supporters say doing that won’t make any difference for people other than gays and lesbians.