A marriage equality bill has passed in the Rhode Island Senate. The bill, which was passed the House in January, passed 26 to 12 making Rhode Island the tenth state to have same-sex marriage.
Delaware may become the eleventh as they have just started working on their bill. Minnesota is also working on a marriage equality bill, and Nevada is working on repealing their ban on same-sex marriage. Governor Lincoln Chafee has pledged to sign the bill into law after a final procedural vote occurs sometime next week.
Same Sex marriage is legal in the following states as well as Washington, D.C. Massachusetts led the way in 2004 which is nearly a decade ago!
Timeline of Gay Celebrations:
. Massachusetts – May 17, 2004
. Connecticut – October 10, 2008
. Iowa – April 27, 2009
. Vermont – September 1, 2009
. New Hampshire – January 1, 2010
. Washington D.C. – March 3, 2010
. New York – July 24, 2011
. Washington (state) – December 6, 2012
. Maine – December 29, 2012
. Maryland – January 1, 2013
. Rhode Island – August 1, 2013
Native Americans Move Forward:
It is interesting to note that all Native American tribal reservations in the US are autonomous and the members of these tribes are not subject to state or federal law while they are on their tribal lands, nor do state constitutions apply. These tribes have legalized same-sex marriages for tribe members on their respective reservations.
. Coquille Tribe in Oregon – May 2009
. Suquamish Tribe in Washington State – August 2011
. Reservation of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (in Michigan) – March 8, 2013
What happens if a couple legally marries in one of the above states, but lives in another?
In addition to those states that permit same-sex marriage, these states which do not permit it nevertheless offer legal recognition to out-of-state same-sex marriages: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey (for purposes of divorce only) and New Mexico.
So, I’m cheering for Delaware, Minnesota and Nevada as their citizens approve of same-sex marriage and equal rights for all.