Rhode Island OKs Same-Sex Civil Unions

Joins growing list of states legalizing gay partnerships
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jun 30, 2011 1:42 AM CDT
Updated Jun 30, 2011 4:00 AM CDT
Supporters of gay marriage display placards and chant slogans during a rally at the Statehouse Providence, RI, earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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(Newser) – Just days after New York legalized gay marriage, Rhode Island has passed its own law approving civil unions among same-sex couples. "From hospital visitation rights, medical decision-making powers, equal state tax treatment, we have moved one step in the right direction to ensuring that individuals receive equal rights and protections under the law," said state Sen. Paiva Weed. Gov. Lincoln Chafee vowed to sign the bill once it passed the Senate, which voted 21-16 yesterday in favor of the measure, reports the Providence Journal. Rhode Island joins Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Delaware in approving civil unions among same-sex couples. Six states have legalized gay marriage.

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