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Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in Rhode Island

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) -- Rhode Island is now the 10th state in the U.S., in addition to the District of Colombia, to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, a longtime proponent of same-sex marriage, said he was proud to sign the bill into law, making Rhode Island the last New England state to permit homosexual nuptials.

Rhode Island's House actually passed the law last January but it took until Thursday for procedural language to be cleared up, which gave Chafee the go-ahead to sign the bill into law.

One day earlier, the National Organization for Marriage said the law offers "a shocking lack of religious liberty protections, potentially ghettoizing people of faith unless they compromise and remain silent in the public square."  Rhode Island is a deeply Catholic state.

Minnesota, Illinois and Delaware may soon be joining the growing list of states where gays and lesbians can legally marry their partners.

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