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ACLU: little interest in civil unions in RI

May 2, 2012
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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Just 52 same-sex couples have obtained civil union licenses in the nine months since Rhode Island enacted a law allowing them.

The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union compiled the number and says it demonstrates that the civil union law is a "complete failure."

Civil unions were approved last year after the General Assembly dropped an effort to pass gay marriage. The law allows gay couples to enter into unions that provide the same state rights and benefits given to married couples.

RI ACLU Executive Director Steven Brown says lawmakers should pass a true gay marriage law.

Lawmakers on Wednesday reviewed gay marriage legislation and a bill that would remove an exemption in the civil union law that allows religious organizations to refuse to recognize the relationships.

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