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. banasy

    Well done, Rhode Island.

    July 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |

    i think this is terrible... same-s-e-x marraiges wont work... cause if they have the same-s-e-x- every night they will get tired of each other within a year or less..
    i try and mix it up to keep it fresh and exciting...

    July 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Brad

    Your lame comments or the s-e-x, RUFFNUTT? Please clarify.

    July 2, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cesar

    BAD TEACHER: I recommend. Good *** LARRY CROWNE: I recommend. Good ***

    July 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sheryl

    Well, now, RUFFNUTT, I think that we would be very well advised to put more holiness into activities of the type to which you were referring.
    I say, "let's put the 'Xp' back into s-
    Also, I like to keep things interesting by doing it in a different fur coat every night–yes, I surely do.

    July 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cesar

    SHERYL WEARING A RED BIKINI: I recommend. Good. *****

    July 2, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    @RuffNutt: True. Good one too. Now, RUFFNUTT IN A BATHING SUIT: I do not recommend. – – – – – (Sorry buddy, no stars for you)

    July 2, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sheryl

    @ Cesar:
    All right, I have a red bikini. It's Chanel.
    Do you want me to wear both the top and the bottom? I don't personally care for the top–it binds.
    I'll put it on, but then, silly, you'll just want me to take it off again. I don't care. All right–off and on, and off and on...
    That's why I love fur...so comfy...Bargusin sable...

    July 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar


    July 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. real fernace

    Hey to banasy, RuffNutt, cesar, Sheryl & JIF:) Y'all sound well. I'm happy this law was passed & that there aren't any comments about "unaturalness ,farmanimal marriages" or that ped. ophil. ia will be legalized! Yet!Those arguements are as vapid as they are tired & a little funny too, in their ignorance!! Happy holiday, to all

    July 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ fernace:
    Happy–oh, whatever you call this long weekend.

    July 2, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sickened by gross people

    God made plans for discusting people

    July 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |

    @Sickened by gross people

    may any person free of sin cast the first stone..

    July 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JESUS

    it is wrong "Sickened by gross people"... cept if it's two smokin hot chicks..

    July 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy

    It was a joke.
    Please read it again.

    July 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
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