Former state rep. and partner celebrate legalization of same-sex marriage

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) — Even though same-sex marriage has been legal and recognized in Rhode Island since 2013, one local couple said the Supreme Court’s announcement is having a major impact on gay and lesbian couples in the Ocean State.

Cheers erupted in the nation’s capital Friday as the Supreme Court ruled to legalize same-sex marriage everywhere — and at home in RI, Tony Caparco and Frank Ferri couldn’t contain their excitement.

“Oh, I couldn’t believe this happened in my lifetime,” Caparco said.

“This decision by the Supreme Court is a fundamental shift in our country,” added Ferri. “It’s so emotional. I’m so happy. I never thought this day would come.”

Ferri is a former state representative who was in office when the governor signed same-sex marriage into law two years ago. “That was the turning point here in Rhode Island.” he said.

Caparco and Ferri were married in August of 2013 — and although the court’s ruling doesn’t impact their marriage in the Ocean State, it does affect them and other same-sex couples.

“No matter where we go, our marriage is recognized. Even if we’re vacationing somewhere, we have the same rights a married couple would have. For medical decisions, for all kinds of issues, it’s a lot off our mind to know everywhere we go, we’re married,” Caparco said.

Meanwhile, not every agency is thrilled about the decisions. Bishop Thomas Tobin released a statement Friday saying in part: “A thousand courts may rule otherwise, but the very notion of ‘same-sex marriage’ is morally wrong and a blatant rejection of God’s plan for the human family.”

Rhode Island Pride also released a statement, saying the decision proves that equality is possible — while also noting that many members of the community still face difficulties fighting for equality.

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