Rhode Island Now Recognizes Out-Of-State Same-Sex Marriages, Thanks To Gov. Chafee

Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed an executive order today that allows Rhode Island to recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state.

It’s not just a lip-service move, either. Reports the AP:

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.

Rhode Island has been the one state in New England to drag its feet on actually legalizing same-sex marriage—despite Marriage Equality Rhode Island’s insistence that a bill would be introduced this session, nothing actually materialized.