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Rhode Island's Governor calls for marriage law during inaugural address

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The new Governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee, took office yesterday. In his inaugural remarks, Chafee renewed his call for marriage equality in his state:

[Chafee] made no other sweeping promises, beyond those he made as a candidate to push for early action by lawmakers on gay marriage, and on Wednesday, on his first full day in office, to rescind Republican predecessor Gov. Donald L. Carcieri’s executive order requiring the state and the companies that do business with it to use the E-Verify system to electronically check the immigration status of new employees.

“However well-intentioned it may have been” he said of the order issued in March 2008, “it has caused needless anxiety within our Latino community without demonstrating any progress on illegal immigration ... an issue I strongly believe must be solved at the federal level.”

On gay marriage, he said: “When marriage equality is the law in Rhode Island, we honor our forefathers who risked their lives and fortune in the pursuit of human equality.”

“Rhode Island today must be as welcoming to all as [founder] Roger Williams intended it to be. Mark my words, these two actions will do more for economic growth in our state than any economic development loan,” he said.
Elections matter. Rhode Island presents a real opportunity for progress on marriage.

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