New England is now officially the gay-friendliest place in all the land. Rhode Island became the 10th state to legalize gay marriage today following a 56-15 vote by the House of Representatives. It’s joined Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts to become the sixth state in the northern region to allow same-sex marriage.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee has signed the legislation while hundreds, including Rhode Island’s congressional delegation, state lawmakers and advocates for same-sex marriage gathered at the Statehouse to celebrate the new law, which had already passed the House and Senate once.
House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is gay, reportedly had tears in his eyes during the debate. A large crowd gathered on the floor and in the galleries to watch the House proceedings and gave standing ovations to many lawmakers following their speeches.
The new law will take effect August 1.
Congrats Rhode Islanders!