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. Duh

    Yes, that's why infertile people of the opposite gender are not allowed to merry each other, oh wait...

    June 29, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bill

    Um you do reliaze that we are over populated already, so maybe this is mother natures answer to stop us from breeding...Or maybe God finally realized that he made a bunch of idiots and this is his way to stop us from breeding...Either way who really cares who is sleeping with who or who is married to who as long as they are happy....

    June 29, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff Frank ( R-Ohio )

    So let me try to understand this furtrher? Now if Barrack is dumped by beautiful Michele, Barrack could possibly retaliate by going to New York to propose to Weiner? And Hillary can dump Bill for Condoleeza . This is all sick...sick sick sick sick sick. Just another con job. These individuals have too much time on their hands.

    June 29, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troy from S'port

      You must have a little too much time on your hands as well if you sit around conjuring up these gay match-up fantasies.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • kk2y1b

      YOU have too much time on your hands! You are the one worried about it! If 2 ppl want to be together LET THEM! it's you bible beating weirdos that try to conform everyone! There was NO need for the (R-) don't worry we already knew that! "next they will legalize dope" HOPEFULLY, then we can STOP wasting money on a plant that grows from the earth and has so many medicinal uses, and start focusing on REAL ISSUES, that ACTUALLY IMPACT OUR LIVES.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jack Hamilson

    Sure, you're allowed to find it gross. I kind of do, too. At least the men. But you shouldn't discriminate against them and deny them the same right to marry the one that they love which you have as a straight person.

    June 29, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ChantDownBabylon

    United States of Sodom and Gomorrah.
    God help us !

    June 29, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • JRH

      Funny, they said the same thing when blacks were given the right to vote, when women were given the right to vote, when the military was integrated in 1948, after Brown v. Board of Education, after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, after interracial marriage laws were struck down, etc, etc, etc. See a pattern here? Get over it.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Franque

      Yeah. "Purple mountains majesty", "Above the fruited plains." Sounds fabulous!

      June 29, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JRH

    Oh no! The sun won't rise in the east tomorrow! And the sky, it's falling!!

    June 29, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. augam

    It comes down to one issue. Either you believe in God and put your faith and obedience in him or you don't. If you know God, then you know that men who sleep with men, women who sleep with women, fornicators, adulterers, thieves, cheaters, blasphemers, idolaters, murderers will not inherit God's kingdom. What is God's Kingdom – You can find the answers in the bible. We are all God's children. We are imperfect, however, we can strive to do what's right. We have a choice, its up to us.

    June 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • reACTIONary

      You don't know squat about God.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • kk2y1b

      O PLEASE! Save it with the "if you know god crap" you sound like one of those counselors that were "gay" but someone beat the theory of god into your head, made you fight it, and now you are *healed* by god... then there is a seat in hell for ALL OF US, because you may not be gay, but sure are a freak of some sort. Worry about something that impacts your life, not 2 people, regardless of gender, in love.

      June 29, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bob G

    I just don't see the issue with two consenting adults who decide they want to get married, regardless of gender. Gay people will still be gay with or without the right to a civil union. Denying that right won't stop people from being gay. Hateful people who stand behind religion wont stop people from being gay either.

    June 29, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dpljlb

    You're an !di0t. Perverts? Cut me a break. Straight men are the BIGGEST perverts. No wonder women come to gay men for support. Straight men are disgusting.

    June 29, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff Frank ( R-Ohio )

    Has group marriage worked at any time in any society....NO. Has polygamy or polyandry worked at any time in any society....NO. Has the schisms of Gay or Lesbianism worked at any time in any society....NO. Tell me where any of this crap worked. Next they'll legalize dope and left on red, if you let them.

    June 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Fate

    1) straight people enjoy soddommy too. Duh
    2) There are definitely straight people who shouldn't marry or breed.
    3) If someone's partner dies straights are given their partner's pension while the others are not. Legally there should be something to remedy this. It's not like the straights are given that money it goes into the CEO's pocket.
    4) The less men in the dating pool the better the odds are for the rest of us heteros.. Women outnumber men already so taking some out of the equation betters the odds.
    5) Straight men often like sloppy seconds and their buddy's leftover women anyways which is pretty much Gaye by proxy.
    6) A professional sporting event is totally Gaeye with all the &$$ grabbing and hotdogs.. But supposedly straight men love their sports..
    7) Churches tolerate pedo priests, but not two consenting adults? Maybe because the adults can't give them a new crop of kiddies to play with? Hmm...

    June 29, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. lori

    i love this it may not be totally equal but it is a step and we should be glad for that

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

    as a lesbian i am looking towards any way for me to be with my girl out side of closed doors

    June 29, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mysterion

    Sorry for the multiple posts.. Thought CNN was censoring me.

    June 29, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I live in NYC. I walk through Central Park or down the street and see athletic, virile men holding hands and walking affectionately as couples.
    They're gay. So what?
    A lot of my friends are gay.
    They're just like straight people: some smart, some stupid, some rich, some poor, some religious, some atheists, some sane, some crazy, some nice, some mean.
    They don't care if I'm straight.
    I don't care if they're gay.
    I don't want to have an intimate physical relationship with them.
    If they bother you a lot, perhaps you do.
    Think it over.
    It would be OK with me.

    June 29, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
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