*Updated* In RI, a move for Reciprocal Benefits instead?


More evidence from the April 5th Boston Globe that the Rhode Island legislature isn't willing to redefine marriage.

Instead, the new idea is a version of civil unions that would provide many practical benefits for couples not eligible for marriage:

Rhode Island lawmakers will consider a proposal to allow gay couples and others who can't legally marry to enter into an agreement providing many of the benefits of marriage.The House Committee on Judiciary will review legislation Tuesday that would extend benefits and rights associated with insurance, health care decisions, inheritance and property ownership to so-called "reciprocal beneficiaries."

The legal relationships would be restricted to anyone older than 18 who cannot legally marry their partner. That includes same-sex couples as well as relatives, such as unmarried siblings who want the right to make medical decisions for each other.

Committees in the House and Senate have held hearings on legislation allowing gay marriage, but neither chamber has scheduled a vote on the bill. The reciprocal beneficiary bill is one of several proposed alternatives.