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