July 2nd, 2011
12:23 PM ET

Rhode Island governor signs civil union bill into law

In a move largely seen as a compromise over the rights that can be afforded to gay and lesbian couples, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee on Saturday signed into law a bill that legalizes civil unions, making his state the fifth in the nation to allow them.

The bill - which was signed just over a week after New York legalized same-sex marriage - will take effect later Saturday, according to the governor's spokesman Christian Vareika.

The law will provide same-sex couples with a host of new state tax breaks, health-care benefits and greater ease of inheritance.

Such unions are currently permitted in New Jersey and Illinois, and will be allowed in Delaware and Hawaii beginning January 1, 2012. California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada also allow for "comprehensive domestic partnerships," largely considered an equivalent to their civil union counterparts.

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Filed under: Rhode Island • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Iamrightyouarewrong

    I am right and you are wrong. Wanna be

    July 2, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Iamrightyouarewrong

    Can't imagine why CNN makes me break up and use * to make a point

    July 2, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Iamrightyouarewrong

    I'm a perpetual liar.

    July 2, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Iamrightyouarewrong

    Well, I gotta go to one of my favorite websites and watch girls with huge knockers and fantasize. Good bye.

    July 2, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Iamrightyouarewrong


    July 2, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Iamrightyouarewrong

    The one in the pink is your mom you know that right.

    July 3, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dag

    Iamrightyouarewrong, you are my mama. You know that right.

    July 3, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dag

    Finally he shut up.

    July 3, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jimbo

    Great. Just another reason why God is withholding His blessings from our country. Any country that not only will allow, but encourage this kind of behavior is headed to a devils hell.

    July 3, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    @banasy...just now read your post. 🙂

    July 3, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. jj

    i give up. lets gay the country up! yay i can marry bubba now grrr!

    July 3, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. banasy

    Marry or don't marry anyone you like.
    It's none of my concern who anyone chooses.

    July 3, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jean Jones

    Civil Unions, YES! That defines the same-gender relationship better than the word "Marriage", which consists of a bride & groom, a man & woman, a wife & husband, i.e., two genders. I'm all for Civil Unions. You deserve the same privileges but not the same word. You are spouses, but not husband and wife. Maybe if you drop the word marriage, you can get what you want and stifle some of the religious right. That would be a win-win situation.

    July 3, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
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