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Legal recognition of
same-sex couples
Same-sex marriage

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Canada
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Norway

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Sweden

Performed in some jurisdictions

Mexico: DF*
United States: CT, DC*, IA, MA, NH, VT, Coquille

Recognized, not performed

Israel
United States: CA (conditional), NY

Civil unions and
registered partnerships

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Performed in some jurisdictions

Argentina: BA, RC, RN, VCP
Australia: ACT, TAS, VIC
Mexico: COA
United States: CA, CO, HI, ME, NJ, NV, OR, WA, WI
Venezuela: ME

Recognized, not performed

Isle of Man (UK only)

Unregistered co-habitation

Argentina
Australia
Brazil

Croatia
Israel
Portugal

In some regions

United States: MD, RI

Status in other jurisdictions

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United States: AL, AS, AZ, DE, FL, GU, IL, LA, ME, MI, MN, MT, NM, NC, OH, PA, PR, RI, SC, UT, WV, WY, Native Americans

Notes

*DC (subject to Congressional review) and Mexico City same-sex marriage laws are effective from 1 March and 4 March 2010, respectively.

See also

Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage legislation
Timeline of same-sex marriage
Civil union
Domestic partnership
Registered partnership
Civil partnership
Listings by country

LGBT portal

Same-sex marriages cannot currently be performed under the laws of the state of Rhode Island. However, 3 bills are pending in 2010 before the Rhode Island General Assembly which one bill would provide for same-sex marriage and the other bill would provide a Reciprocal Beneficiary Agreement under Rhode Island law. Currently both Rhode Island and Maine are the only states in the New England region that does not recognize and/or perform same-sex marriage [1].

However both Maine and Rhode Island do have "domestic partnerships" with certain limited legal rights that are not near to marriage (such as inheritance rights from firefighters, correctional officers or police officers, funeral rights, property rights, the right to vist a partner in a hospital or nursing home, etc). Maine has a registered domestic partnership from 2004 and Rhode Island has an unregistered domestic partnership since 2002 [2] [3] [4] [5].

History

May 17, 2004: Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch issues an advisory opinion that Rhode Island would recognize any legal marriage performed in another state, as long as the marriage is not contrary to the "strong public policy" of Rhode Island. He said that the legislature and courts should decide which types of marriages fall within that category, while adding that same-sex marriages are not included among the types of marriages currently proscribed. His opinion has the force of law unless it is challenged, so it appears to indicate that Rhode Island in fact recognizes valid same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts but not necessarily elsewhere.[1]

September 29, 2006: Massachusetts Superior Court Justice Thomas E. Connolly ruled that same-sex couples who live in Rhode Island can marry in Massachusetts. The ruling was a response to a 1913 law that prohibited Massachusetts from performing marriages that were not legal in the couple's home state. The ruling does not impel the state to grant same-sex marriages in Rhode Island.[2]

February 20, 2007: Attorney General Patrick Lynch issued an opinion advising that same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts be recognized in Rhode Island.[3][4] [5]

December 7, 2007: Rhode Island Supreme Court stated that the family court lacks jurisdiction to hear a divorce petition involving same sex couple who were married in Massachusetts. Chambers v. Ormiston, 935 A.2d 956 (R.I. 2007).

January 29, 2009: Senators Perry, Sosnowski, Pichardo, Miller, and C. Levesque introduced a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.[6]

Senator Leo R. Blais introduced two bills, one prohibiting same-sex marriage [7] and other creating Reciprocal Beneficiary Agreement [8]

Public opinion

A May 2009 poll conducted by Brown University showed that 60% of Rhode Islanders support legalizing same-sex marriage, while 31% oppose.[9] However, a different poll in June 2009 commissioned by the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage, said that 43% of Rhode Island voters oppose legalizing same-sex marriage, while 36% support it with 17% undecided.[10]

References








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