This Day in RI Historical past: Could 2, 2013 – Identical-Intercourse marriage legalized in Rhode Island
On May 2, 2013, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed two bills legalizing same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. The signing came after months of debates in the Rhode Island legislature and a final vote of 56-15 votes in support of the bill in the RI House of Representatives.
With public opinion at the time advocating same-sex marriage 2: 1, the Rhode Island Council of Churches approved the legislation earlier this year. The legislation, however, was rejected by Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin, who said at the time that “homosexual acts are … always sinful” and advised that “Catholics should consider their conscience very carefully before deciding whether to support or promote same-sex relationships non-sex ceremonies. This could damage their relationship with God. “
Since it was signed, RI’s definition of marriage has been: “Marriage is the legally recognized union of two (2) people. Terms relating to the marital or familial relationship shall be construed in accordance with this section for all purposes of the law, whether in connection with law, administrative or judicial regulation, policy, common law or any other source of civil law. ” [RI Gen L § 15-1-7]
In 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled the Obergefell v. Hodges case upheld the legality of same-sex marriages across the country.
Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes on music for What’sUpNewp, SO RI, Folk Radio UK and more. He is also a DJ on Tuesday evenings from 6pm to 9pm on WRIU 90.3 FM.
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