June 29th, 2011
08:34 PM ET

Rhode Island legislature passes same-sex civil union bill

Less than a week after New York became the nation's sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage, Rhode Island state lawmakers on Wednesday voted in favor of a bill that permits civil unions between gay and lesbian couples.

The measure, which passed the state Senate by a count of 21-16, is widely seen as a compromise intended to provide same-same couples with added rights and benefits, while also preventing an expanded legal definition of marriage.

The legislation, which passed overwhelmingly in the state's lower house on May 19, affords same-sex couples a host of new state tax breaks, health-care benefits and greater ease of inheritance.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an independent, is expected to sign the bill into law, according to his spokesman, Michael Trainor. If signed, the law would take effect on July 1, making Rhode Island the fifth state in the country to allow civil unions between same-sex couples.

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soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. Dingo ate my baby

    Finally liberty means not those just like me... All though this falls short of equality

    June 29, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. RichardSRussell

    PROGRESS!

    June 29, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pinky

    Proud to be Republican and proud to be Gay.

    June 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • rb

      Isn't that an oxymoron

      June 29, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • abnormal

      why would you be proud to be a disgusting freak?

      June 29, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trixibelle

      Tsk abnormal, I know republicans are different, but no need to call names.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bruce

    Lord, it's becoming a wide spread epidemic. Dear Jesus, please have mercy on us.

    June 29, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • popeye1128

      Bruce? LOL !

      June 29, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • dpljlb

      Jesus: My child. I created gay people just as they are. You need to understand the most important law that I preached, the law of love: LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. Please stop being so judgmental and LIVE AND LET LIVE.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brandon

    Separate but equal. Still better than no rights, but still not quite there yet.

    June 29, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. popeye1128

    Time for this non-issue to be put to bed both literally and figuratively. I could care less about consenting adults tying the knot. Good luck, we all need it straight or gay.

    June 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. WheresTheGOP

    @Pinky:

    Proud to be Gay? OK! Proud to be Republican? Ummm....No!

    Sincerly,
    an ex-Republican

    June 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pinky

      We should all go out and hug a Republican.

      June 29, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John

    That's nasty... I'm not one of them to yell at gays with religion but I still think that its just plain gross.

    June 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, lucky for you! You don't have to be gay.

      June 29, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      yeah but i still have to watch in on the streets.... sick

      June 29, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pinky

      Oh John, you need a hug dear. (((((((John)))))))

      June 29, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      how often do you have to watch lewd gay acts in the street? i see lewd straight acts far more often. in fact, I've never seen gay people acting inappropriately in public.

      June 29, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crystal

      lol Just look away and mind your own business, no one is forcing you to watch them intently.

      June 29, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      lol its hard.. Its super gross lol you know like when you see something disturbing and you try to look away but its just to weird that you have to look back? Yeah, well thats what happens

      June 29, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crystal

      Well John that sounds like a personal problem you have with intimacy.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What is your problem, dude? I live in a major city and have rarely seen ANY public displays of affection by gay couples, and I've never seen a gay parade. You must be looking for something to gross you out so you can whine about it. Get a life.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    How would you know? You're not normal. Normal people don't get all exercised over what others do in the bedroom.

    Get help, Lassie.

    June 29, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Steven Bettencourt

    So, with that logic we should now expect that 50% of the civil unions won't last.

    June 29, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gary

    I dont have any issue with gays or lesbians but some things are sooooooo incredibly simple.......god didnt create two males or females to marry.....bottom line.....being in union is as correct and acceptable as it should be

    June 29, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why?

      June 29, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      *your* god.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • dpljlb

      You're an idiot.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Josh

    SPREAD IT LIKE WILDFIRE!

    June 29, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lin

    What don't you people understand about SODOMY????

    June 29, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unknown

      That it nothing to do with gay marriage.

      June 29, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unknown

      Correction: that it has nothing

      June 29, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pinky

      Very little dear. Very little indeed. When Jesus blessed the Sodomites he did so for all mankind.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crystal

      Plenty of straight couples do it. Do you want to go into their bedrooms and tell them what they can and cannot do?

      June 29, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trixibelle

      Why you spend so much time worrying about it?

      June 29, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why don't you look up the actual definition?

      June 29, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. LargeNcharge

    Rhode Island is financially bankrupt and soon to be morally bankrupt, just like NY. SIGH.

    June 29, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • dpljlb

      Move to UTAH with all the other sub-human id1ots! You'll do well there. The east coast is too sophisticated for your bigoted a$$.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. abnormal

    gays are abnormal...it's disgusting what this world is turning into!!! a total freak show!!

    June 29, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • dpljlb

      What is disgusting is your obnoxious hatred. How does it effect you that two HUMAN beings that love each other want to be recognized by the state as a legal couple? It has NO effect on your life at all! You are a hateful, miserable person and when your generation dies out, progression of human beings will certainly prevail.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
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