Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Rhode Island Will Not Recognize Gay Marriages

There was disappointing news in Rhode Island Monday as the Attorney General, Patrick Lynch, stated that Rhode Island couples who marry in Massachusetts will not have their marriages recognized in their home state.

This is a let down after last week’s exciting court decision. This past Friday Massachusetts Judge Thomas Connelly ruled that Rhode Island’s laws do not explicitly prohibit same-sex marriages. This decision made it legal for Rhode Island gay couples to marry in Massachusetts. Unfortunately once they cross the border back to their home state, their legal marriage somehow disappears into thin air.

Rhode Island Attorney General Lynch mentioned that Rhode Island also does not recognize gay marriages performed in Canada or Europe. As if that makes it OK to not recognize legal marriages performed in the state right next door.

Rhode Island gay and Lesbian couples are saying that being able to marry in Massachusetts now has great symbolic importance to them. That is great, but symbolic importance doesn't grant you the 1,400 rights that marriage does. The good news is that Friday's ruling does open up a court challenge that would seek to have the Rhode Island marriages validated.


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