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Rhode Island will allow same-sex marriages starting August 1st

On May 2, 2013, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee signed the Rhode Island Marriage Equality Act (H. 5015, L. 2013, effective August 1, 2013) into law in a much-publicized ceremony on the steps of the Rhode Island State House.

In addition to allowing same-sex marriages in the state, the law will ease the process for parties to an existing civil union to convert the civil union to marriage status.

In a letter announcing the signing, the governor stated that “Marriage equality is an economic development issue, in addition to one of civil rights and basic fairness. We want to have the welcome mat out for the best and brightest – those who will help Rhode Island prosper in the new economy.”