[JURIST] Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee [official website] on Saturday signed into law a bill [H6103, PDF] that legalizes same-sex civil unions in the state. The bill effectively adds a "Civil Unions" chapter to the Rhode Island General Laws section governing domestic relations, affording same-sex couples many of the same rights and benefits available to married couples. The bill is modeled on similar legislation in Illinois, Delaware and Hawaii [JURIST reports], and defines a civil union as "a legal union…

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