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Rhode Island becomes 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage

May 2nd, 2013 | by Drew Schmenner | Comments

One story is dominating the Providence (R.I) Journal’s website Thursday as Rhode Island became the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the bill into law one day after he laid out his reasons for doing so in an op-ed in The New York Times.

In the piece, he described what he sees as the nation’s growing acceptance for same-sex marriage: “Even in the reddest states, the rising generations are far more tolerant than their parents and grandparents. As this shift continues, marriage equality will inevitably become law in more and more states. The states that cling to their old prohibitions will then be viewed as the outliers. Like Rhode Island in recent years, they will be seen as islands of old thinking.”

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, disputed same-sex marriage’s inevitability in in a story in USA TODAY. “The reality is that a lot of our cultural elite, in the media and academia, in Hollywood, have embraced a totally new conception of marriage, and they’re using their positions to try to make this new conception the norm and try to make people believe it’s inevitable,” Brown said in the report. “And the goal of this whole inevitability argument is to sap the will of the majority of Americans to even fight on the issue, and that is not going to happen.”

It’s been an eventful week for the LGBT movement, starting with NBA player Jason Collins becoming the first active male athlete in a major American sport to come out. But Charlie Pierce sounded a cautionary note in his piece on Grantland.com, arguing it’s too facile to say, like many pundits were, that Collins’s announcement signals a new dawn of public acceptance for the LGBT community. “It is being said that the country has moved so much on these issues that the greatest thing about Jason Collins’s decision is that the ruckus it’s raised has been so celebratory,” Pierce wrote. “We shall see about that.”

We shall definitely see. It won’t be long until June when the U.S. Supreme Court announces its decisions on California’s same-sex marriage ban as well as the Defense of Marriage Act.

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