The Rhode Island Legislature overrode a governor veto on Tuesday to approve a bill that gives gay couples the same rights to plan the funerals of their late partners as married couples, the Telegraph reported.

Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the bill, with only 3 members of each chamber voting against the measure.

Governor Donald Carcieri, a Republican, vetoed the bill in November, saying the legislation would erode heterosexual marriage. The bill also includes unmarried heterosexual couples.

“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 13 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.

Rhode Island is the only New England state that does not recognize gay unions. Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut have legalized gay marriage. Maine offers a limited domestic partnership for gay couples.

A couple must be at least 18, have lived together for one year and prove they were financially dependent – sharing a bank account would suffice – to qualify for the funeral planning rights.