Lincoln Chafee, former Senator from Rhode Island:
Earlier this month, the New Hampshire legislature took another step in our country's ongoing struggle to ensure full equality for gays and lesbians by voting to permit same-sex couples in their state to legally enter into civil marriages. The vote.... leaves Rhode Island as the only New England state that does not permit same-sex marriage.
To me, the issue of same-sex marriage boils down to a question of basic fairness. Gays and lesbians have contributed to the diverse fabric of Rhode Island and the rest of the country for generations, strengthening our communities in innumerable ways. We all know someone who is openly gay or lesbian, and almost all of us share the same basic aspirations: a safe town and an affordable home to live in; a good job to provide us and our families with economic security; good schools for our children; quality health care; and, perhaps most importantly, someone to love and share our lives with. Once you acknowledge that homosexuality exists not by choice, the next obvious step is to grant gays and lesbians the same liberties and freedoms as every other American.
As a proud Rhode Islander who thinks of my state as a leader when it comes to treating others with dignity and respect, it troubles me to think we've fallen behind in granting our gay and lesbian family members and friends something as fundamentally important as the right to have their relationships fully recognized by the state.
Full quote HERE