Chafee: Ruling on gay marriage provision a victory

Rhode Island's governor is applauding the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee called the Wednesday's ruling a "significant victory and no small step forward for our country."

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to invalidate a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that has barred married gay couples from getting a variety of tax, health and retirement benefits that are normally available to married people.

Chafee said the Defense of Marriage Act had long given legal legitimacy to discrimination and unequal treatment.

Same-sex marriage has been legalized in 12 states, including Rhode Island, as well as in the District of Columbia.

Rhode Island's same-sex marriage law goes into effect on Aug. 1.