Same Sex Marriage Cake Tops

Lou Dematteis/Reuters

Rhode Island

On May 2, Rhode Island became the 10th state to permit same-sex marriage. The House approved the bill by 56-15 (the RI Senate approved the bill on April 24 by a 26-12 vote), and the governor signed it the same day. Same-sex marriages will be legal starting August 1, 2013. 

Rhode Island had just approved civil unions two years ago, and now the new law will replace these civil unions with marriage.  The Fox News article noted that “few couples” sought civil unions.  I wonder why they think many more will seek marriage.  What people fail to understand is that most gays do not want marriage.  What they want is social acceptance of their orientation and behavior, and permitting same-sex couples to partake of the institution of marriage is one of the best ways to accomplish this. 


Just five days after Rhode Island enshrined same-sex marriage into law, Delaware followed suit.  On May 7 Delaware became the 11th state to permit same-sex marriage when the DE Senate voted 12-9 to approve the bill (the DE House approved the bill in late April by a 23-18 vote).  The governor signed it a half-hour later.  Same-sex marriages will be legal starting July 1, 2013. 

In DE, civil unions – which were just legalized a year ago – had all of the same rights and responsibilities as marriages, so this is just a name change for them.  But there is something to be said for a name. 

Like RI, civil unions are being replaced by same-sex marriage effective July 1.  Unlike RI, DE will convert existing civil unions into marriages in one year.  Even out-of-state civil unions will be considered marriages if someone moves to Delaware. 


On Monday, the Minnesota Senate approved a same-sex marriage bill by a 37-30 vote.  Their House approved the bill last week by a 75-59 vote.  The governor signed it into law on Tuesday, making Minnesota the 12th state to adopt same-sex marriage.  Same-sex marriages will be legal starting August 1, 2013. 

Same-sex marriage is now permitted in 25% of the states in this country. 

I find it interesting that all 12 states (and the District of Columbia) who permit same-sex marriage are in the northern part of the United States (and mostly in New England): 

  1. Washington
  2. Minnesota
  3. Iowa
  4. New York
  5. Maine
  6. Massachusetts
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Vermont
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Connecticut
  11. Deleware
  12. Maryland
  13. Washington D.C.

For further thinking on same-sex marriage, see my other articles and blog posts: