Rhode Island was set to become the 10th US state to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples after the state Senate approved a gay marriage bill on Wednesday, in a major victory for gay rights activists.
The state House had approved a similar measure in January, but the bill will now go back to the House for a new vote because it was amended. Governor Lincoln Chafee, an independent, has vowed to sign it, calling Rhode Island, the last New England state without a law allowing gay nuptials, "an island of inequality in our region."The Rhode Island vote marks the latest in a string of victories for gay marriage advocates.
Last November, voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington state voted to allow same-sex marriage, while in Minnesota, voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.