Rhode Island: Bury Him, Don’t Marry Him

Although they resolutely continue to block any recognition of gay relationships, the Rhode Island legislature is poised to approve a bill giving gays the legal right to arrange for the funerals of their partners. The bill, which gives the surviving partner precedence over the deceased’s biological family, was unanimously approved in the RI Senate yesterday and now moves to the state House. Three state Senators abstained from voting.

As there is no official recognition of same-sex relationships in Rhode Island, the bill defines a domestic partner as “a person who prior to the decedent’s death was in an exclusive, intimate and committed relationship with the decedent.” Detractors, of course, claim this funeral bill will open the door to gay marriage.