RI civil union legislation divides gays

By

Published:

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Some gay couples in Rhode Island who have pushed for same-sex marriage legislation say they are waiting for full marriage rights and will not enter into civil unions.

But others call civil unions the "next best thing" to gay marriage.

Gay rights groups have been generally disappointed with the civil union legislation that passed the General Assembly this week, saying exemptions for religious institutions make the measure discriminatory.

Becky Chace (chayse) and Christy Bergeson (BER'-guh-son), a gay couple from Barrington, say they will not enter into a civil union because the bill includes language that allows religious organizations to ignore the rights they would get in such a union. Chace said that would make the union "meaningless."

Independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) is expected to sign the bill.