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. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ banasy:
    Don't you know who Sheryl is?

    June 29, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jules sand-perkins

    Sheryl is indisposed for the remainder of the evening.
    Her doctors have advised her to enter a rehabilitation facility for twenty-eight days.

    June 29, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jj

    um that wasnt me i love gotes B A A

    June 29, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fernace

    Nations with legal gay marriage: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden & 7 states of the USA! This is a world issue & we're making history! All's good with that!!

    June 29, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jules sand-perkins

    Gott, or goats?

    June 29, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Holy Matrimony

    Can't touch this. Na na Na na Naa Naa. You'll never be holy! An ox can be married to a bow and a trailer can be married to a hitch but it's crude, not holy. The term 'Holy Matrimony' will never be applied to a man and his dog. No doubt men will be legally marrying dogs one day (no offence Michelle O.) but they won't be holy dogs.

    June 29, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy

    @JIF:
    No.
    I get tired of guessing who is who, and who has changed their name.
    Who is it?

    June 29, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. fernace

    Nations with legal gay marriage: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden & 7 states of the USA! This is not just our issue, it's a world issue. We're in a history making process & all's good with that!!

    June 29, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jj

    hey howd you do that

    June 29, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy

    @JIF:

    And if she is you, well, you still have a wonderful sense of humor.

    June 29, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ed Sr

    Thank you!.....Now when will they let me marry my dog?

    June 29, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    fernace, all of those whole nations are full of smart, sophisticated citizens.
    Vado al letto ora.
    Buona notte.

    June 29, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. fernace

    Hey 2 Joey, banasy & cesar, who hates performance artists!!

    June 29, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. fernace

    @ Ed Sr., when yourdog can say "I do"!!

    June 29, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jj

    derrick! get off my user name you qweer! (he really is gay) is that acceptable to the gay police?

    June 29, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
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