GLAD Celebrates End of ‘6 x 12’ Campaign for Marriage throughout New England
Today, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed into law a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry in Rhode Island. The Ocean State is now the nation’s 10th marriage equality state and the final New England state to approve marriage for same-sex couples. The bill signing brings to a close Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders’ “6 x 12 Campaign” to make New England a marriage equality zone.
“It was thrilling to see Governor Chafee sign the marriage bill into law and affirm the equality of same-sex couples in Rhode Island who want to publicly declare their love and commitment by joining in marriage,” said Janson Wu, a staff attorney at GLAD. “Thousands of Rhode Islanders have waited and worked hard for many years to ensure that all families would have the respect and recognition that only marriage provides, and today is the culmination of their steadfast commitment to equality. This is a joyous milestone for the Ocean State and for our nation. GLAD salutes all of our coalition partners at Rhode Islanders United for Marriage
Marriage equality in Rhode Island brings to a close GLAD’s “6 x 12 Campaign,” our initiative to achieve marriage equality in all six New England states by 2012 – albeit a few months later than originally projected. GLAD launched the initiative in 2008, on the fifth anniversary of the decision in its lawsuit Goodridge v. Department of Public Health -- which made Massachusetts the first marriage equality state in New England and the country – and shortly after our Kerrigan v. Mock litigation brought marriage to Connecticut.
GLAD has since worked through the courts or legislatively – collaborating with partner organizations in each state – to achieve marriage equality throughout New England.
“When we kicked off ‘6 x 12’ five years ago Connecticut and Massachusetts were the only New England states where same-sex couples could marry, and just one other state allowed marriage at that time,” said GLAD Executive Director Lee Swislow. “Some thought our plan to make New England a marriage equality zone in just a few years was an overreach. But this movement has come so far, so fast thanks to the dedication and savvy of our partner organizations across the region and fair-minded New Englanders too numerous to count who support equality for their LGBT family members, friends and neighbors.
“We’ve re-dubbed our ‘6 x 12’ campaign ‘6 x 12.3,’ and that’s just fine,” added Swislow.
The new marriage law takes effect Aug. 1. GLAD has published the Rhode Island Marriage Guide a resource for couples considering marriage. The comprehensive guide details important information like how to obtain a marriage license, what will happen to Rhode Island civil unions, what to do if you already have a marriage, civil union or domestic partnership from another state; the protections that couples gain when they’re married in Rhode Island, and more.
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England’s leading legal organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.
For questions about marriage or any other LGBT issue, call GLAD’s free and confidential Legal InfoLine at 1-800-455-GLAD(4523) or email email@example.com.