[JURIST] The Rhode Island Senate [official website] on Wednesday approved a same-sex civil union bill by a vote of 21-16 [press release]. The bill [2011 – H6103, PDF] is identical to a version of the bill passed in the House of Representatives [official website], and Governor Lincoln Chafee [official website] is expected to sign the bill into law. Modeled after similar legislation in Illinois, Delaware and Hawaii [JURIST reports], the bill defines a civil union as "a legal union between…