Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee
called on lawmakers to legalize gay marriage in his inauguration
speech on Tuesday.
Chafee, a former Republican, was sworn
in as the state's first independent governor on the front steps of
the Legislature. He took the oath of office as his wife, Stephanie,
and three children – Louisa, Caleb and Thea – beamed on.
In his speech, he promised “honest,
reliable government,” and reiterated his call for lawmakers to
legalize gay marriage.
“When marriage equality is the law in
Rhode Island, we honor our forefathers who risked their lives and
fortune in the pursuit of human equality.”
“Rhode Island today must be as
welcoming to all as [founder] Roger Williams intended it to be. Mark
my words, these two actions will do more for economic growth in our
state than any economic development loan,” he said, referring to
his candidate pledge to repeal anti-immigration policies of his
Republican predecessor. (The video is embedded in the right panel of
Legislators in Rhode Island have
considered a gay marriage bill every year since 1997. Supporters are
banking on Chafee to help build momentum in the next legislative