HRC Blog

Rhode Island Gov Takes Action to Recognize Out of State Same-Sex Marriages

Post submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee is taking action to ensure state agencies recognize marriages between gay and lesbian couples performed out of state.

The Rhode Island Attorney General issued an advisory opinion in 2007 declaring that the state can recognize out-of-jurisdiction marriages. However, the Rhode Island Supreme Court later refused to grant a divorce to a same-sex couple legally married in Massachusetts. This led to confusion over how the state treats same-sex couples legally married out of jurisdiction.

Governor Chafee’s action today clears up that confusion and provides a clear directive to the state’s agencies. Under his order, same-sex couples married out of state but residing in Rhode Island will receive the same rights, benefits, and obligations of opposite-sex couples who are married.

Learn more about relationship recognition in states across the country.

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