Rhode Island on Thursday became the nation’s 10th state to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed, as a 16-year effort to extend marriage rights in this heavily Roman Catholic state ended with the triumphant cheers of hundreds of gays, lesbians, their families and friends.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the bill into law on the Statehouse steps Thursday evening following a final 56-15 vote in the House. The first weddings will take place Aug. 1, when the law takes effect
Media Credit: Photo (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP/ Video (YouTube Jpusbr)
Posted: Tuesday May 15, 2012 @10:45 p.m. PST
According to USA Today, Gay icon Ricky Martin paid tribute today to President Obama for his recent shift on gay marriage.
The actor and singer — along with LGBT Leadership Council and Futuro Fund — hosted a fundraiser in New York for Obama this afternoon, just days after Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage. Martin, once a member of the boy band Menudo and perhaps best known for his hit Livin’ la Vida Loca, is now on Broadway performing in Evita.
Martin announced his plans to hold the fundraiser — which drew 200 who paid at least $5,000 each — long before Obama announced his shift in position on gay marriage.
Interestingly, Martin was previously a George W. Bush supporter, and even performed at his inauguration in 2001. Martin later soured on Bush over the Iraq War. During Monday’s fundraiser for Obama, Martin noted that he respected how Obama has conducted himself on foreign policy.
“We admire his courage, like the courage he showed last week in affirming his belief in marriage equality,” Martin said. “That is the kind of courage we expect from our president and that is why we support him. He knows we’re in this together and that together we’re stronger than divided. We elected the right president at the right time.”
In his remarks, Obama said that gay marriage “strengthens families.”
The president also paid tribute to Martin and suggested his supporters catch Evita.
“Those of you who haven’t caught Evita yet, go out there,” Obama said. “I’m sure there are tickets still available. So grateful for him stepping out and being able to support me in this way.”