The Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a marriage equality bill on Thursday (24 January) bringing the tiny New England state one step closer to legalizing gay marriage.
The House easily passed the legislation by a vote of 51-19 but it now faces what is expected to be a much tougher battle in the State Senate.
It will next face a Senate committee which must vote in favor of the bill being sent before the full Senate for a vote.
Governor Lincoln Chafee will sign the bill into law if it also passes the senate.
‘There are certain legislative votes that can fairly be characterized as ‘historic.’ The Rhode Island House of Representatives’ overwhelming passage of marriage equality legislation is one such vote,’ Chafee said in a statement Thursday.
Rhode Island is the only New England state where gay marriage is not yet legal.