Sandy Stier, left, and Kris Perry of Berkeley, Calif., arrive at the National Archives in Washington, Monday, March 25, 2013, to view the U.S. Constitution, a day before their same-sex marriage case is argued before the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island has become the 10th state to allow same-sex couples to marry following Gov. Lincoln Chafee's (CHAY'-feez) signature of gay marriage legislation.
The independent governor signed the bill Thursday evening, shortly after the House gave final approval to the bill.
Gay and lesbian Rhode Islanders erupted into cheers following the bill's signature.
The first marriages could take place Aug. 1, when the legislation would take effect.
While all other New England states already allow gay marriage, heavily Catholic Rhode Island had been a hold-out, with gay marriage bills failing to pass for nearly 20 years. That changed this year after more gay marriage supporters were elected to the General Assembly and advocates mounted an aggressive lobbying effort.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.