Action Alert: Rhode Island Rally for Marriage Equality

Will your next Governor sign the freedom to marry into law? Raise your voice with the candidates for Governor to call the Rhode Island legislature to action.

Bring your family, grab your signs and join state leaders tomorrow in demanding full equality for ALL Rhode Island families.

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Rhode Island Officials Elect 1st Openly Gay Speaker

Rhode Island Rep. Gordon Fox on Thursday became the first openly gay speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives after receiving votes from 51 of the 75 House lawmakers.

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Providence mayor to run for Kennedy’s seat

Providence, R.I. Mayor David Cicilline, who is openly gay, announced today he will be a candidate for Congress. The two-term mayor began to consider running after U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) shocked political observers by announcing he would not run for reelection this year.

Providence became one of the largest cities in the U.S. to elect an openly gay mayor when Cicilline won his 2002 election. He was easily reelected in 2006 amid national media attention for his work turning around the fortunes of Providence, which was once beset by high crime rates and corruption.

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Video: Pro-LGBT lawmaker Patrick Kennedy to retire from Congress

A stalwart champion of LGBT rights and the last member of the Kennedy family to serve in Congress announced on Friday plans to retire at the end of this year as a U.S. House member.

In a two-minute video, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), the son of the late Edward Kennedy, says he won’t seek re-election, recalling his father’s “deep commitment to public service” as he explains his decision. A supporter of same-sex marriage, Kennedy voiced his support for marriage rights for same-sex couples in a statement when he announced in 2008 he would be a founding member of the LGBT Equality Caucus.

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Candidates for RI Governor promise to support Freedom to Marry

The Associated Press
February 9, 2010

Both Democrats running for governor and former Sen. Lincoln Chafee, an independent candidate, will publicly pledge to sign a freedom to marry bill if elected, Marriage Equality Rhode Island said Monday. The pledges come as gay rights activists hope to capitalize on the departure of anti-gay Republican Gov. Don Carcieri, a staunch social conservative who's term limit has run out. [Link]

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Rhode Island Lawmakers Back Funeral Rights for Gays

The Associated Press
January 5, 2010
Rhode Island lawmakers voted Tuesday to allow gay and lesbian couples the right to plan the funerals of their deceased partners, overriding a veto by the governor. The override enjoyed support from several Republican lawmakers as it passed 67-3 in the House and 31-3 in the Senate. [Link]

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Rhode Island Gov to Lawmakers: Leave my vetoes alone

The Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
January 5, 2010
Republican Gov. Donald Carcieri and NOM of Rhode Island have issued last minute pleas to the Rhode Island General Assembly to reverse Tuesday's plans to override the governor's veto of funeral arrangement rights for same-sex couples. House leaders do not plan to back off any veto override plans, according to spokesman Larry Berman. [Link]

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Rhode Island Gov. Open to Same-Sex Couples’ Rights

WPRI.com (Providence, RI)
November 13, 2009
Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri said Thursday he was willing to explore expanded protections for gay couples following a meeting with the group Queer Action of Rhode Island, who expressed concern over the governor's veto of a bill that would have allowed same-sex partners to plan each other's funerals. [Link]

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Update: R.I. governor vetoes ‘domestic partners’ burial bill

The Providence Journal
November 10, 2009
An opponent of marriage equality, Rhode Island Governor Carcieri has vetoed a bill that would have added "domestic partners'' to the list of people authorized by law to make funeral arrangements for each other. In his veto message, Republican Carcieri said: "This bill represents a disturbing trend over the past few years of the incremental erosion of the principles surrounding traditional marriage, which is not the preferred way to approach this issue." [Link]

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Funeral Rights Bill for Same-Sex Couples Vetoed by Rhode Island Governor

The Associated Press
November 11, 2009
Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have allowed same-sex couples in the state to plan the funerals of their deceased partners. [Link]

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