Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri has vetoed a bill that would have given gay couples the same rights to plan the funerals of their late partners as married couples, the AP reported.

Carcieri, a Republican, said he rejected the legislation because it would erode heterosexual marriage.

“If the General Assembly believes it would like to address the issue of domestic partnership, it should place the issue on the ballot and let the people of the State of Rhode Island decide,” the governor said in a letter to lawmakers.

Carcieri, who will be term-limited out of office next year, remains a major obstacle to passing a gay marriage bill in Rhode Island, which lawmakers have considered for the last 12 years. The governor also backs an effort to place a gay marriage ban in the Rhode Island Constitution. And in the spring, he and his wife, Sue, joined the state's newly minted chapter of the National Organization for Marriage, the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage.

Last month, he refused a request by gay rights group Queer Action Rhode Island to cancel a scheduled appearance before the anti-gay group Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) at its 18th Annual Fundraising Banquet. However, the governor agreed to meet with gay rights activists in early November. That meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 12.

Susan Heroux, a member of Queer Action Rhode Island, said the meeting will be “very important.”

“I don't know what his interaction is with gay people, frankly,” she said in a statement. “And we don't expect to change his views. But we do hope that by talking to him about our daily lives, he can understand that this is not just ideology.”

The bill's sponsors said Wednesday they would seek to override the governor's veto in the Democratically-led Legislature.