Marriage equality sweeps all of New England with Rhode Island poised to become 10th state with the freedom to marry

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds today’s Senate passage of a bill granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry in Rhode Island. The measure passed in a 26-12 vote. A similar measure passed the House in January, and the bill now returns to the House for a largely procedural vote on small changes made on the Senate side. Gov. Lincoln Chafee has promised to sign the bill into law. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force provided leadership development and legislative lobby training to Rhode Islanders United for Marriage field staff.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

The momentum for the freedom to marry is undeniable, as we see yet again with this victory in Rhode Island. Marriage equality has now swept through all of New England, and we are thrilled for the couples and families in Rhode Island who will soon be able to share in the responsibilities and celebration of marriage without having to cross state lines.

We congratulate Rhode Islanders United for Marriage and all those working so hard to secure the freedom to marry for Rhode Islanders. We are proud to stand with them in this effort. This has been a journey of changing hearts and minds, of personal and poignant conversations about why marriage matters, of shining a spotlight on our common humanity. The transformative nature of people talking about their love and their lives is clear, as we see with this victory in Rhode Island, and in the fact that a clear and ever-growing majority of Americans supports marriage equality.

We rejoice in this moment and continue to press forward to the day when loving, committed same-sex couples in every state have the freedom to marry.