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Breaking: RI Lawmakers Overturn Governor Vetos

UPDATE: Governor Carcieri joined NOM-RI in issuing a last minute plea to the RI legislature.

Take THAT, Carcieri!

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – On their first day back at work, Rhode Island lawmakers overrode Governor Carcieri’s vetoes of bills to institute a new $7 recreational saltwater fishing license, grant funeral decision-making rights to same-sex couples and strip the governor of his power to fill U.S. Senate vacancies – and many more.

The House – and then the Senate – voted to override Republican Carcieri’s veto of a bill giving domestic partners the right to claim the bodies of – and make funeral arrangements for – their loved ones.

The House vote was 67 to 3 and the Senate vote was 29 to 3.

The only one of dueling defense-of-marriage, same-sex marriage and gay-rights bills introduced in Rhode Island last year that cleared the General Assembly, the legislation was an outgrowth of the personal tale that Mark S. Goldberg told lawmakers about his months-long battle last fall to persuade state authorities to release to him for cremation the body of his partner of 17 years, Ron Hanby.

After the voting, Goldberg said he was “just thankful the [lawmakers] recognized the importance of this bill.”

And what’s more, it was a strong and resounding, smokin’ hawt veto. Good on you, Rhode Island…

If anyone finds NOM-RI’s reaction, please feel free to share in comments and I’ll update ASAP. But I did get this email second-hand info:

The three representatives who voted no were Arthur Corvese of North Providence and two reps from Woonsocket, Jon Brien and Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, all Democrats.

In the Senate, there were two votes (on the two versions of the bill) and the no votes were slightly different on each one: Leo Blais (R-Coventry), Michael Pinga (D-West Warwick) and Marc Cote (D-Woonsocket) on one version, and Blais, Cote and Edward O’Neill (I-Lincoln) on the other.

Mark Goldberg was there for the vote, and apparently had a “cordial” talk with Chris Plante of NOM-RI.

h/t DubNotDubya

*Related QueerAction Rhode Island: “Letter Proves NOM-RI Is Anti-Gay”


NOM-RI Pressures Legislators Not To Override Carcieri’s Funeral Rights Veto

Rhode Island Working To Reverse Carcieri Veto?

RI: Gov Carcieri thinking positively about domestic partnerships

Follow-up: Reactions To RI Gov Carcieri’s Veto of DP Funeral Rights

RI Governor Donald Carcieri Vetoes DP Funeral Rights Bill

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