Yesterday afternoon the Rhode Island House voted 56-12 to approve the state's same sex marriage bill and it was almost immediately signed into law by Governor Lincoln Chafee. Rhode Island becomes the tenth state to allow same sex marriage and completes a continuous block of states in New England where marriage is now legal. Now it's up to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware to link that block with Maryland where marriages began this year. Delaware's house narrowly passed a same sex marriage bill this week and a vote in the Delaware Senate could take place as early as next Tuesday. If the bill passes the state senate Governor Jack Markell has said he will sign it.
The Rhode Island law will take effect on August 1st and one of the first weddings could be between Rhode Island Rep. Frank Ferri and his partner who will be celebrating their 32nd anniversary that same day,
In a sign of the quickly changing times when the Rhode Island Senate voted on the bill it marked the first time a party caucus had voted as a unanimous block in any of the ten states.
The Republican Party caucus.