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Civil Union Bill Passes Senate, Gov. Chafee To Sign Into Law

Historic legislation passes through the General Assembly.

North Kingstown Patch is looking for your reaction to the civil unions bill that passed the Rhode Island Senate on June 29, just over a month since a similar bill sponsored by Johnston Rep. Peter Petrarca cleared the House.

Petrarca's bill gained momentum after a same-sex marriage bill, sponsored by Rep. Frank Ferri of Warwick, didn't make it out of committee.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee is expected to sign the civil union legislation as early as today.

The bill would allow towns to issue same-sex couples a certificate, much like a marriage license, that provides legal standing for their relationship. It does not require religious institutions to recognize or provide civil union certificates.

(Find the bill, House 6103, at the General Assembly's bill status website.)

What do you think? Are civil unions a "step in the right direction," as advocates have said? Or are you opposed to them?

Leave us your comments below.

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