Rhode Island becomes 10th state to allow same-sex marriage

by Kia Farhang

Rhode Island’s governor signed two same-sex marriage bills into law Thursday, news sources reported.

The bills make Rhode Island the 10th state to allow same-sex marriage, according to the Providence Journal. They allow same-sex couples to marry as of August 1, and couples with civil unions to convert those unions into marriages.

"Now, at long last, you are free to marry the person that you love," Governor Lincoln Chafee told a crowd of supporters, the BBC reported.

The state’s Catholic church opposed the legislation. The new law states that religious institutions can set their own rules about who can marry, and no religious leader will be forced to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony.

Delaware could be the next state to legalize same-sex marriage, the Associated Press reported. A bill legalizing same-sex marriage passed the Delaware House and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.