MERI lauds Gov. Chafee’s historic move to recognize RI’s same-sex marriages

PROVIDENCE - Marriage Equality Rhode Island Campaign Director Ray Sullivan issued the following statement today after Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed an executive order directing departments and agencies to recognize the marriages of the Rhode Island’s same-sex couples.

“This is a great and historic day for Rhode Island. Lincoln Chafee is now the first governor in the country to sign an executive order providing critical clarity and direction to government agencies regarding the recognition of same-sex, out-of-state marriages.

Despite long-standing Rhode Island law respecting out-of-state marriages, the fact is that far too many same-sex couples have encountered problems with the state refusing to recognize the validity of their marriage, causing harm, confusion, unnecessary expense, and heartache. This executive order will go a long way towards eliminating those problems, and makes it clear that there is no longer a gay exemption to the kind of protections and responsibilities that only marriage can provide.

While this moves us closer to full marriage-equality, nothing less is sufficient, and we will keep fighting. The General Assembly should take note of the courageous leadership demonstrated by President Obama and Governor Chafee and move immediately to pass full marriage equality. Even though this order makes clear that all married couples should be treated the same, all Rhode Islanders should be able to marry in their home state amongst their family, friends and community regardless of their sexual orientation.

This executive order sends a strong message to married Rhode Islanders that they can and should rely on their marriage to protect them and their families, and we thank Gov. Chafee for his tremendous leadership and commitment to civil rights.”


Dr. John Carvalho on May 14, 2012 at 7:44 pm

The Governor’s executive order today could not have come at a better time.  Though there is concern that the State House will not vote on the marriage equality issue, it is clear that momentum is building.  I encourage everyone to keep the pressure on to get the remaining bills out of the Judiciary Committee and continue to lobby for a vote this term.  There is still the possibility of getting one of these bills past before the general election.

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