Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the bill into law on the Statehouse steps Thursday evening following a final 56-15 vote in the House. The first weddings will take place Aug. 1, when the law takes effect.
The very northeastern part of the United States, comprised of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island -- a contiguous area of 33 million people ---- now legalizes gay marriage, and joins Iowa, Washington, Maryland, and the District of Columbia in equality. Delaware is expected to follow next week. The United States awaits a decision by the Supreme Court in June on the issue.