"Twelve in the negative, and the act passes," said Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and the Rhode Island Senate floor erupted in cheers.
Rhode Island's State Senate approved legalizing same-sex marriage.
The bill's author and only openly gay Senator was thrilled.
State Sen. Donna Nesselbush (D-RI) said, "I couldn't be happier, I couldn't be prouder for the State of Rhode Island, for all the people who are in this chamber..... to embrace marriage equality and join the force that is sweeping the nation."
Moments earlier there was one last ditch effort to create a ballot initiative and let voters decide.
State Sen. Frank Ciccone (D-RI) who sponsored the referendum bill said, "It's my feeling that 38 people on this side and members of the House on the other side do not thoroughly represent all of what the voters say."
But the ballot referendum failed, and then, on a 26 to 12, vote gay marriage passed the Senate.
ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "And once Governor Chafee puts his signature on the bill, Rhode Island will be the 10th state in the nation to have legal same–sex marriage."
A large group of protesters showed up at the State House, hoping to get the bill defeated.
Olinda Urizar said, "I am against same sex marriage (Why?) Because marriage is only supposed to be between a man and a woman."
But others say the time has come for gay marriage, and the General Assembly agreed.
Annie Cronin-Silva who stood next to her partner said, "We've been together 12 years and for us it just means one step closer for everyone recognizing that all loving committed couples have the ability to get married."
Same–sex marriages will be allowed in Rhode Island, as of August 1st.