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Attorney
general's sister married partner days before he issued
pro-gay opinion

Attorney
general's sister married partner days before he issued
pro-gay opinion

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Rhode Island's attorney general Patrick Lynch (pictured) said his opinion this week advising his state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts had nothing to do with his sister's wedding to her partner there days earlier.

Rhode Island's attorney general said his opinion this week advising his state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts had nothing to do with his sister's wedding to her partner there days earlier. Atty. Gen. Patrick Lynch said the advisory opinion, which is not binding, was issued in response to a question from a state agency and was based on legal research.

''No disrespect to my sister, who I love very much, but it has zero impact on it,'' he said.

In Wednesday's opinion Lynch said there was no strong reason for Rhode Island to deny recognition to same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts because Rhode Island does not have a law banning such unions. The opinion came a week after Lynch attended the February 15 wedding of his sister Margaret Lynch-Gadaleta and her partner of 18 years in Attleboro, Mass.

Lynch-Gadaleta, the Pawtucket city solicitor, said she did not believe her brother was influenced by her partnership.

The opinion answered a question from the Board of Governors for Higher Education over a request by gay employees in the state college system to have their files changed to reflect their marriages in Massachusetts. Steve Maurano, a spokesman for the Board of Governors, which oversees higher education in Rhode Island, said the board intends to follow Lynch's advice.

Massachusetts is the only state where same-sex marriage is legal. New Jersey, Vermont, and Connecticut offer civil unions, which offer many of the protections and benefits of marriage without the title, and California offers domestic partnerships with similar benefits. (AP)

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