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R.I. Gov Open to D.P. Law


Rhode Island governor Don Carcieri, who drew fire this week for his veto of a bill that would give funeral-arrangement rights to same-sex partners, met with a gay rights group in Providence on Thursday and expressed his openness to an "everything but marriage" domestic partnership law.

Carcieri, a Republican and avowed opponent of marriage equality, met privately with six members of Queer Action of Rhode Island, according to TheProvidence Journal.

"Citing as a possible model the 'everything but marriage' referendum that won approval in the state of Washington earlier this month, Carcieri said: 'I don't know enough, yet. All I am saying is I understand the circumstances. I understand the difficulties" that can arise for same-sex couples and others -- such as widows living with widowers, and widows with other widows -- outside the legal framework of a traditional marriage," reported the Journal.

On Wednesday, Carcieri vetoed a bill that would authorize domestic partners to claim one another's remains and make funeral arrangements for each other. The governor said the bill represented a "disturbing trend over the past few years of the incremental erosion of the principles surrounding traditional marriage."

State attorney general Patrick Lynch, a Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, called Carcieri "cruel and heartless" for vetoing the legislation.

Legislators may override the veto.

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