Rhode Island Recognizes Out-of-State Gay Marriages Gov. Lincoln Chafee gives gay married couples full legal rights By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff Posted May 14, 2012 3:40 PM CDT 61 comments Comments Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee gave gay marriage rights a boost today. (AP Photo/Stew Milne, File) (Newser) – Good news for gay Rhode Islanders who marry out of state: Their marriages are now legally acknowledged back home, the AP reports. Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the order today in a Statehouse ceremony, granting gay married couples many rights—including insurance coverage for the spouses of state employees and the right to sign both partners' names on a child's birth certificate. But the state continues to prohibit gay marriage itself, allowing only civil unions. Still, a woman at the ceremony who had married out of state was thankful: "For our next child, we won't have to go through the same kind of turmoil." And a gay marriage advocate praised Chafee for enacting a former attorney general's recommendation, which had been gathering dust for 5 years. "It's important because all families deserve equal protection and recognition under the law," the advocate said. "Gov. Chafee, by doing this today, is affirming that idea."