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Gay Marriage in Rhode Island: A Big Issue for a Small State

27 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2006  

Joan Catherine Bohl

Stetson University - College of Law


This article takes the position that Rhode Island is poised to recognize same sex marriage. It first parses the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's plurality decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, showing that this oft-criticized decision is actually simply a logical extension of existing and widely accepted law. Turning to Massachusetts' neighbor to the south, it then reviews relevant Rhode Island law to demonstrate how and why the Goodridge framework easily fits Rhode Island's existing legal landscape. It concludes that the Rhode Island Supreme Court could logically conclude that gay marriage in Rhode Island is a constitutional necessity.

Keywords: Gay Marriage, Civil Rights, Domestic Relations, Rhode Island, Gay Rights

Suggested Citation

Bohl, Joan Catherine, Gay Marriage in Rhode Island: A Big Issue for a Small State. Roger Williams University Law Review, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2007. Available at SSRN:

Joan Catherine Bohl (Contact Author)

Stetson University - College of Law ( email )

1401 61st Street South
Gulfport, FL 33707
United States

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