Rhode Island Governor Orders Recognition Of Same-Sex Marriages

Rhode Island passed a civil unions law last year that has been deemed a “a complete failure.” Religious organizations were free to ignore the unions and same-sex marriage is available in all the surrounding states, so it’s unsurprising that only 52 couples obtained a license. Now, Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) has signed an executive order requiring all state agencies to recognize marriages performed elsewhere, treating same-sex married couples as equal to all other married couples. In 2007, then attorney general Patrick Lynch offered a legal opinion that out-of-state marriages should be recognized, but it did not have the same legal force as Chafee’s new order.