Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rhode Island Recognizes Gay Marriage

Despite the fact that Rhode Island does not legally permit same-sex marriage (civil unions are okay), Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) has signed an executive order that grants all the same rights and responsibilities to state residents who were married in states such as neighboring Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The executive order is expected to have many real-world implications. Same-sex spouses of state employees and anyone covered by an insurance company regulated in Rhode Island will be entitled to health and life insurance benefits, gay rights advocates say. Both partners in a same-sex couple will be able to list their names as parents on a child’s birth certificate, and same-sex couples will be entitled to sales tax exemptions on the transfer of property including vehicles.

So they might as well go ahead and legalize it. I’m pretty sure that’s what Mr. Chafee had in mind, and this was the most he could do without legislative action.

I predict a surge in business for the wedding industry in places like Fall River, Massachusetts, just in time for the summer wedding season in Newport.

HT to Joe.