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(NECN: Kathryn Sotnik, Providence, R.I.) - Thursday was a historic day in Rhode Island as Governor Lincoln Chafee signed same sex marriage into law.
He did so on the steps of the State House as hundreds of people including residents, politicians and lawmakers, gathered to watch.
Rodney Davis was there with his partner Brian Mills.
"I feel privileged to be living in the state of Rhode Island and have the opportunity to marry the man I love here at home," Davis says.
Earlier in the day, the House voted 56-15 in favor of same sex marriage. Openly gay Speaker of the House Gordon Fox has been at the forefront of the legislation, and throughout the day choked back tears.
"It's really just about love, it's not taking away from anybody else," says Fox.
For many lawmakers it's also personal.
Representative Frank Ferri, a Democrat who represents Warwick, is also openly gay. He stood before the house chambers saying, "No more being ashamed, no more lies."
But for those who are opposed, the day is historic for another reason.
"I continue to oppose gay marriage on the reasons aforementioned on the incalculable and unforeseeable ramifications on our children in particular and our society in general," Democratic Rep. Arthur Corvese, who represents North Providence, says.
Rhode Island was the only state left in New England where same sex marriage wasn't legal, and is now the 10th state in the country to allow gay people to get married.
Governor Lincoln Chafee begins it will bring an economic boost to the struggling state and considers the passage a highlight to his time as Governor.
Couples who want to wed in same sex marriages will be able to do so starting August first.
Rhode Island is a heavily Catholic state. Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese says in a letter to parishioners that he is profoundly disappointed and that "Catholics should examine their consciences very carefully before deciding whether or not to endorse same-sex relationships or attend same-sex ceremonies, realizing to do so might harm their relationships with God and cause significant scandal to others."