Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri told a group of gay activists Thursday he would be open to consider a gay-inclusive domestic partnership law, the Providence Journal reported.

“Maybe it's something we should consider,” Carcieri said.

“I don't know enough, yet. All I am saying is I understand the circumstances. I understand the difficulties,” he added.

The meeting with gay rights group Queer Action Rhode Island came two days after the governor vetoed a bill that would have given gay couples the same rights to plan the funerals of their late partners as married couples.

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 dismissed calls to cancel a scheduled appearance before the anti-gay group Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) at its 18th Annual Fundraising Banquet, where he told attendees that gay marriage was not a civil right. The governor also backs an effort to place a gay marriage ban in the Rhode Island Constitution. 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.

Queer Action Rhode Island requested the meeting shortly after the governor's MFI appearance.

Susan Heroux, spokeswoman for the group, told the paper that she was “really happy” that “they are willing to look at our issues. They are willing to talk to us.” She called the meeting “progress.”

But gay activists who have waited patiently 12 years for the Legislature to approve a gay marriage bill are more than likely not willing to settle for a domestic partnership bill. Especially considering four other New England states offer full marriage and Carcieri, a major obstacle to passing a gay marriage bill in Rhode Island, will be term-limited out of office next year.