Bill proposed to allow same-sex divorce in RI

Associated Press

Wednesday February 18, 2009

PROVIDENCE, R.I.-Same-sex couples would be allowed to divorce in Rhode Island under legislation introduced in the General Assembly.

The bill is in response to a 2007 state Supreme Court decision that blocked a lesbian couple who wed in Massachusetts from getting divorced in Rhode Island, where the women lived.

Sen. Erin Lynch, a Warwick Democrat and the bill's sponsor, said same-sex couples are sometimed forced to stay married when they don't want to be.

The Supreme Court ruled in December 2007 that the Family Court could not grant a divorce to Cassandra Ormiston and Margaret Chambers because state law has not defined marriage as anything other than between a man and a woman.

Lynch's bill would allow same-sex couples to divorce in Rhode Island even if their marriage wouldn't be recognized under state law.

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