Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee said he will sign a gay marriage bill into law possibly as early as this week.

The measure cleared the Senate on Wednesday with the help of all 5 of its Republican members. It returns to a House committee this week to reconcile some language differences between a version approved three months earlier in the House.

Speaking to Bloomberg News, Chafee, a 60-year-old independent, said the “time had come” for marriage equality in Rhode Island.

“There were no deals, no trades,” Chafee said of passage in the Senate, where Democratic Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed remains an opponent.

Chafee had argued that Rhode Island was falling behind economically as the only New England state without marriage equality.

“Some people think that means florists and weddings, and in fact I don't mean that at all,” Chafee said. “I mean it in a broader universe of a place that is welcoming to the younger generation, the creative generation, entrepreneurs.”

(Related: NOM labeled “ineffective” at halting gay marriage in Rhode Island.)