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Rhode Island now 10th state to allow gay marriage

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island has become the nation's 10th state to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed, after a 16-year effort to extend marriage rights in this heavily Roman Catholic state.

Gays, lesbians, their friends and families erupted into cheers Thursday following a final 56-15 vote in the Rhode Island House, and then again an hour later when Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the bill into law on the Statehouse steps.

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