The advocacy group Freedom to Marry is among the first out of the gate with the good news:
Today, the Rhode Island Senate approved S38, the bill that will extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples throughout the state of Rhode Island. By a vote of 26-12, senators in Rhode Island voted to stand on the Right Side of History.
It’s a landmark moment for marriage nationwide and for thousands of loving, committed couples in Rhode Island. The approval in the Senate today makes it all but certain that Rhode Island will be the tenth state in the United States to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.
Similar legislation was passed in the RI House of Representatives by a vote of 51 to 19. The bill now returns to the House for confirmation and then will be sent to Governor Lincoln Chafee, who has promised to sign the bill into law.
Forty-four percent of Rhode Island residents are Roman Catholic, making it the second most Catholic state in the country behind Massachusetts, where marriage equality is also the law.
Updates: The Associated Press
Multiple stories from the Providence Journal.
We will have more stories and reactions as they become available.