Rhode Island lawmakers will consider a proposal to allow gay couples and others who can't legally marry, such as siblings, to enter into an agreement providing many of the benefits of marriage.
A House committee 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 and 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.