Rhode Island state Senator Frank Ciccone has introduced a joint resolution which would overturn an executive order signed Monday by Governor Lincoln Chafee which recognizes the out-of-state marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

Rhode Island began recognizing such unions in 2007 at the direction of then-state Attorney General Patrick Lynch. However, his opinion to state officials does not have the force of law.

Chafee's order makes it clear that the state recognizes the marriages of gay couples as valid.

Ciccone, a Democrat from Providence, submitted his resolution on Thursday. He told the Providence Journal that the Rhode Island Supreme Court's 2007 ruling on gay divorce and the General Assembly's passage last year of a civil unions law spells out the state's “public policy” on the subject.

Ciccone also reintroduced a bill which would put marriage equality up for a public vote in November.

State Rep. Arthur Handy and Senator Rhoda Perry have sponsored bills legalizing gay marriage in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island is bordered by three states where gay couples can legally marry: Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.