Rhode Island Senate Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill
House must now vote on Senate amendments
[JURIST] The Rhode Island Senate voted 26 to 12 [press release] Wednesday in favor of a bill [S 0038, PDF] that would legalize same-sex marriage[JURIST backgrounder]. The House passed its own version of the bill [JURIST report] in January, but must now vote on Senate amendments. A vote is expected [CNN report] as early as next week. Governor Lincoln Chafee, who last year signed an executive order granting recognition to same-sex marriages [JURIST report] performed outside of Rhode Island, has announced his support of the legislation. Rhode Island is currently the only state in New England that has not legalized same-sex marriage, and previous attempts to legalize same-sex marriage in the predominantly Catholic state have been unsuccessful.