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Rhode Island

R.I. governor warns he will veto efforts to put same-sex marriage to a public vote

Says lawmakers need to decide the issue in the legislature
Thursday, January 10, 2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee said Thursday that he would likely veto any attempt to put same-sex marriage to a public vote, and said state lawmakers owe it to voters to decide the issue in the legislature.

Lincoln Chafee

The Rhode Island House of Representatives is scheduled to vote within weeks on legislation that would allow same-sex couples to marry, however opponents of same-sex marriage have expressed their support for alternative legislation that would put the question before voters.

Same-sex marriage supporters say the issue is one of civil rights and shouldn’t be decided by a vote. Rhode Island is now the only state in New England without same-sex marriage.

White House spokesman Shin Inouye responded to the pending legislation, noting that President Barack Obama supports approval of the bill.

“While the President does not weigh in on every measure being considered by the states, he believes all couples should be treated fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” said Inouye.

“As he has said, his personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so,” he said.

Chafee, an independent who supports marriage equality, signed a civil unions law in July 2011 with the promise that it would move Rhode Island closer to the ultimate goal of legalizing same-sex marriage.

Under an executive order signed by Chafee in May 2012, Rhode Island currently recognizes the marriages of gay and lesbian couples performed elsewhere.

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34 more reader comments:

  1. Happy to see Rhode Island is making baby steps

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:41pm
  2. :poop:

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:44pm
  3. PIG

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:44pm
  4. Go with the flow, dude. It’s happening!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:44pm
  5. In the spirit of the concepts on which this country was founded, this is the right choice but only delays the inevitable.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:46pm
  6. His current term may turn out to be his LAST !!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:47pm
  7. Boooooo

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:48pm
  8. As far as I can understand, I think the governor is saying that lawmakers should make same sex marriage legal and same sex marriage should not be put to a popular vote…I think that is awesome!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:48pm
  9. Duh, equal rights shouldn’t be put to popular vote, haven’t we learned that already!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:50pm
  10. Whats that word i hear… that’s right unconstitutional.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:52pm
  11. Slackers, read the article. He supports marriAge equality and wants to make sure it doesn’t have to come to a popular vote.

    Read! Read! Read!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:52pm
  12. The rest of you idiots chafing Chafee should actually read the damn article, even if it has a couple of typos – he’s on our side! Civil rights legislation should never be up to the poplar (“u” omitted intentionally) vote. If it were, we’d still have slavery.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:56pm
  13. Amen John … And extra credit for ‘chafing Chafee’…

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:59pm
  14. You’re welcome!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 8:01pm
  15. Proud of you

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 8:01pm
  16. Well done, Mr. Governor! And you hit the nail in the head John with your reference to slavery.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 8:05pm
  17. then tell the gov to stop vacationing at fire island

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 8:08pm
  18. Of course, people can’t read!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 8:11pm
  19. Grazie, Gallo – I just adore alliteration and assonance.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 8:11pm
  20. You CAN’T, stop progress… but go ahead and try, douchebag!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 8:52pm
  21. LOVE, YOUR COMMENT…. John Mattson!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 8:54pm
  22. R.E.A.D. The article before commenting…

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 8:56pm
  23. Very smart man.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 9:07pm
  24. Okay, I admit, I was wrong…. didn’t read the whole article.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 9:14pm
  25. Still, LOVE John’s comment!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 9:15pm
  26. Go Rhode Island!!! I’m from Maine! We Won!

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 9:35pm
  27. I’m right along with him and who says you got to leave it all up to the voters.

    Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:06pm
  28. Go ahead Governor! Thank you for your forward thinking attitude!

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 3:17am
  29. MD Maine and Washington all put it up to a vote, and look at the outcome. :)

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 4:17am
  30. This is fantastic! :)

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 6:05am
  31. override his bigoted ass hateful veto

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 9:28am
  32. oops i misread it too. it should never come to a vote. constitutional rights are endowed by our creator.

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 9:30am
  33. Maybe he willl realize how many people diagree with him.

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 12:12pm
  34. Shame!

    Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 2:11pm