Gov. Chafee recognizes out of state gay marriages

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May 14, 2012

Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island: Governor Lincoln Chafee signed an executive order today stating that Rhode Island will recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state. Under this order, gay couples will be seen by all state agencies as having equal status and benefits as heterosexual couples, and means that certain health and life insurance benefits will now be extended to them under the law.[1]

Prior to this order, Rhode Island law was unclear on the status of same-sex couples married out of state. The move was cheered by gay rights activists and same-sex couples in the state, but the group National Organization for Marriage spoke out against the Governor, saying, "To issue an executive order recognizing same-sex marriage flies in the face of the clearly expressed actions of the legislature and the people." Last year's attempt to legalize gay marriage stalled in the state legislature and was eventually abandoned in the face of fierce opposition.[1]

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