same-sex marriage

May rolls in with history being made in Rhode Island. Welcome back to my weekly column. As always, your thoughts and tips are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's head in:

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.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

To the delight of a crowd of hundreds of people in front of the Statehouse, Governor Lincoln Chafee on Thursday evening signed into law legislation making Rhode Island the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Two companion bills forming the basis for the law sped through the General Assembly in recent weeks, in sharp contrast to how the issue of same-sex marriage languished for the preceding 16 years.

RI House of Representatives
Catherine Welch / RIPR

Ian Donnis will be reporting from the statehouse as Rhode Island is poised to join the other New England states that have already legalized same-sex marriage. This follows a battle of almost 20 years.

Two companion bills for same-sex marriage are expected to get overwhelming support during a House vote this afternoon. Immediately after, Governor Lincoln Chafee plans to sign the legislation into law during a ceremony on the south side of the Statehouse.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

After helping to shepherd same-sex marriage legislation on what once seemed an improbable path to victory, House Speaker Gordon Fox was a bit surprised Tuesday to be asked about his own wedding plans.

"I'm just trying to plan to get through this session," Fox said, laughing, when asked if he has plans to marry later this year. "That's a curve ball. I hadn't though about that one. Maybe you should ask my partner that."