Same-sex marriage now law in RI - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Same-sex marriage now law in RI

Posted: Updated:
PROVIDENCE -

Federico Santi and John Gacher have been a couple for four decades, so they plan to waste little time when Rhode Island joins the rest of New England in extending marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples on Thursday.

They plan to show up early at Newport City Hall to complete the paperwork to turn their civil union into a marriage - just don't expect an extravagant ceremony.

"After living together for 41 years, we don't have anything to prove," Santi told The Associated Press. "It's like going down and getting a driver's license."

Town and city clerks around the nation's smallest state are preparing to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples for the first time Thursday morning. A new gay marriage law in Minnesota takes effect the same day. The two states bring the number of states allowing same-sex marriage to 13.

States like Massachusetts and California saw long lines and scores of weddings on the day gay marriages began. But with gay marriage already the law in the rest of New England, town clerks and advocates who fought for the new law predict a relatively calm day.

Ray Sullivan, campaign director for Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, said many couples plan to obtain marriage licenses for weddings later in the year while others are waiting until next year.

"I don't expect a ton of weddings to pop up tomorrow," Sullivan said Wednesday. "Because of our proximity to states that have had the freedom to marry - Massachusetts and Connecticut - we have a large number of couples that are already married."

The state's new law will automatically recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

At least one high-profile wedding is planned to mark the new law: state Rep. Frank Ferri, D-Warwick, got into politics after being an early advocate for same-sex marriage. He and longtime partner Tony Caparco were married in Canada in 2006, but plan a second wedding Thursday. House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is gay, plans to preside over the ceremony in front of hundreds of invited guests.

Karen Yetter and Karin Marchessault plan to wait until February to get married - on the 14th anniversary of their relationship. The North Providence women considered getting married in another state but decided to wed in Rhode Island when the law passed this year. They plan a ceremony with about 120 guests.

"We didn't want to give in and do it somewhere else," Yetter said. "Now we're finally going to get the things we fought so hard for. We're about to send out the save-the-dates."

  • Local PoliticsMore>>

  • Obama arrives in RI, heads to Newport fundraiser

    Obama arrives in RI, heads to Newport fundraiser

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:19 PM EDT2014-08-29 23:19:51 GMT
    President Barack Obama meets with Gov. Lincoln Chafee and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick.President Barack Obama meets with Gov. Lincoln Chafee and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick.
    President Barack Obama is on a fundraising blitz and Newport is one of his stops.
    President Barack Obama is on a fundraising blitz and Newport is one of his stops.
  • Lt. Governor candidates say priority is putting RI back to work

    Lt. Governor candidates say priority is putting RI back to work

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:01 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:01:33 GMT
    NBC 10's Bill Rappleye (left) speaks with Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan McKee and state Rep. Frank Ferri during a taping of "10 News Conference".NBC 10's Bill Rappleye (left) speaks with Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan McKee and state Rep. Frank Ferri during a taping of "10 News Conference".
    All of the candidates, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan Mckee, and state Rep. Frank Ferri, say closing the skills gap and putting people back to work would be their first priorities.
    All of the candidates, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan Mckee, and state Rep. Frank Ferri, say closing the skills gap and putting people back to work would be their first priorities.
  • Year ends with $68M surplus; most already used

    Year ends with $68M surplus; most already used

    The state of Rhode Island ended the last fiscal year with a $68 million surplus, though $59 has already been used to close a hole in the General Assembly's current year spending plan.
    The state of Rhode Island ended the last fiscal year with a $68 million surplus, though $59 has already been used to close a hole in the General Assembly's current year spending plan.
Powered by WorldNow

23 Kenney Drive
Cranston, R.I., 02920

Telephone: 401.455.9100
Fax: 401.455.9140
Email: news@wjar.com

Can't find something?

NBC 10 Outerwear Provided by:

NBC 10 Media Relations
Provided by:

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.