Gay Marriage Approved by Senate in Rhode Island – How Will This Affect Family Laws?

The Providence Journal has reported that a gay marriage bill has been approved by the senate 26-12. The next step is for the House Judiciary Committee to approve the bill in late April or early May, according to the report. Once cleared, Rhode Island would be one of 10 states that legalizes the union.

The big question when it comes to gay marriage is how this new bill would affect several facets of the law. On the surface, it would probably seem that family court would be most affected, however legal gay marriage in Rhode Island would affect several areas including:

  • Discrimination – If you’ve ever filled out a job application, you probably noticed a clause that states the Federal Statute prohibiting bias based on race, nationality, etc. You may have also noticed that there isn’t any discriminatory practices based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Some states however have their own statutes – ask John R. Grasso what the current laws are in Rhode Island.
  • Visitation Rights for Children and Parents – the new bill could affect who is objectively given parental custody, without considering the parent’s sexual orientation. Other areas of the law that may be subject to change include adoption proceedings, domestic violence, alimony and more.
  • Joining the Military, or Remaining Therein – members of the army could potentially be discharged based on their sexual preferences alone.
  • Sodomy – Find current laws under Rhode Island Title Codes, where it currently details that unmarried adults have no right to privacy when copulating in their own space. The laws for sodomy are still vague, and there are not many reported cases compared to other popular sex crimes like rape or sexual molestation for instance.

As seen above, a number of court proceedings could change, including when filing taxes, being eligible for a will and more.

Source: Providence Journal