Chamber: Marriage equality helps businesses

NEWPORT COUNTY — Rhode Island hospitality and wedding industries are at a disadvantage because the state doesn’t recognize marriage equality.

So says the Newport County Chamber of Commerce, whose board of directors Tuesday voted unanimously to issue a statement recognizing the positive economic impact seen by the hospitality and wedding industries in states that have marriage equality.

Same-sex couples are not allowed to marry in Rhode Island by law, although the state does recognize such marriages performed in other jurisdictions. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire all have legalized same-sex marriage.

“Marriage equality could have a substantial positive economic impact on our members, especially in the hospitality and wedding industries,” said Laura F. Pedrick, chairwoman of the Chamber’s board of directors. “Currently, Rhode Island is at a competitive disadvantage with our New England neighbors who already have marriage equality.”

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