Rhode Island became the 10th U.S. state to legalize gay marriage Thursday, which will take effect Aug. 1, ABC News said.
"We would not be where we are today without the Rhode Islanders who for decades have fought for tolerance and freedom over discrimination and division," Gov. Lincoln Chafee said, according to Reuters. "I am proud to say that now, at long last, you are free to marry the person you love."
Chafee made the law official on the Statehouse steps Thursday evening after a 56-15 vote in the House, ABC News said.
"I've been waiting 32 years for this day, and I never thought it would come in my lifetime," said Raymond Beausejour, a 66-year-old gay North Providence man who has been with his partner for 32 years, according to ABC News. "For the first time in my life, I feel welcome in my own state."