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Rhode Island state Senate to take up same-sex marriage bill

(Reuters) - Lawmakers in Rhode Island are working on a bill that would make it the latest state to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples with a vote scheduled in the state Senate on Wednesday.

Same-sex marriage is legal in nine states and the District of Columbia, and besides Rhode Island, the issue is also under consideration in state legislatures in Minnesota, Illinois and Delaware.

In January, the Rhode Island state House voted in favor of the bill, but the measure has less support in the Senate. Rhode Island is the last of New England's six states without a law allowing gay nuptials.

The legislation, supported by independent Governor Lincoln Chafee, has been introduced in the House every year since 1997.

(Reporting by Edith Honan in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Grant McCool)

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