Date: May 15, 2012
As he signed an executive order recognizing same-sex marriages from out-of-state, Governor Chafee on Monday again called on lawmakers to support full marriage equality in Rhode Island and said he would sign a gay marriage bill into law immediately if it were to pass in both General Assembly chambers.
“Let’s get full equality,” Chafee said. “It’s time to get on with it.”
Chafee became the first Governor in the countrty to sign an executive order recognizing our-of-state gay marriages. His order was met with loud applause from hundreds of supporters inside the State House and earned praise from national progressive groups throughout the day.
"Our members are thrilled that Gov. Chafee is stepping forward to help loving, committed same-sex couples gain the recognition and rights they deserve from Rhode Island,” said Adam Bink, director of online programs for the Courage Campaign. “His support and the unanimous support of Rhode Island's congressional delegation for the Respect for Marriage Act speeds up the day when over 1,100 federal rights and benefits currently denied to legally married same-sex couples are granted alongside what they are getting today from Rhode Island."
Chafee said the executive order reaffirms former Attorney General Patrick Lynch’s 2007 opinion stating that recognizing the valid marriages of same-sex couples does not violate Rhode Island public policy. The Governor said the state was “way overdue” for recognizing out-of-state gay marriages.
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