And with the stroke of a pen, Governor Lincoln Chafee (I-RI) makes same–sex marriage legal in Rhode Island. The first copy of the law going to openly gay House Speaker Gordon Fox. The first Rhode island marriage may be State Rep. Frank Ferri (D-RI) who previously married his partner Tony in Canada.
"Speaker Fox will marry us on August 1st," said Rep. Ferri to loud applause. The gay marriage victory did not go down without a fight.
"I have stated on this floor, my opposition to gay marriage based on the common good, common sense, and natural law. My position has not changed," said State Rep. Art Corvese (D-RI).
"It's disappointing. It's worrisome. It's disappointing because we obviously don't want to see marriage redefined," said Chris Plante of the National Organization for Marriage.
"Going to the chapel and we're going to get married," sang the Providence Gay Mens Chorus. But for gay and lesbian couples in the crowd, it's not just the legal validation, it's deeply personal.
"You can have the same hopes and dreams, to grow up, to get married, and have children and run that same trajectory. You don't have to be that special situation that doesn't get that. You're not second class," said Tiffany Rauch-Dickson, a lesbian spouse. And that could mean marriage. too, for House Speaker Fox and his long time partner Marcus Lafond.
"And so this is one for the history books. Rhode Island is now the 10ths state in the nation to legalize same–sex marriage. At the State House in Providence, I'm Mark Curtis ABC6 News." .