Civil unions and same-sex marriage in Delaware
Bill HB 75 was passed by the full Senate.
Jack Markell (D) signed it into law.
Reactions & comments.
2013-MAY-07: The Senate vote:
The debate among the 21 members of the Senate was scheduled to begin at 2 PM on MAY-07. The vote was expected to be close. 1,2
During the debate:
Debate concluded at 5:07 PM on that day, and the roll call was immediately held. The final vote was 12 in favor to 9 against with no abstensions. The bill passed, to wild applause from the Senate floor and galleries. Governor Jack Markell (D) has long openly supported same-sex marriage and signed the bill into law less than an hour after the Senate voted. 3
The law will go into effect on 2013-JUL-01. At that time, new civil unions will no longer be available. Couples in civil unions will be able to convert their unions to marriage. Same-sex couples from other states who are in civil unions will be considered married under Delaware law.
While posing for pictures outside his office, Governor Markell said:
"I think this is the right thing for Delaware. It took an incredible team effort." 5
He also said:
"Today, we wrote a new chapter in our history and proved, once again, justice and equality continue to move forward in Delaware." 6
The Associated Press commented:
"While it doesn't give same-sex couples any more rights or benefits under Delaware law than those they have in civil unions, supporters argued same-sex couples deserve the dignity and respect of married couples." 5
In addition, if and when the U.S. Supreme Court repeals the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) then some 1,138 federal benefits, protections, etc. for married opposite-sex couples will also apply to married same-sex couples. Those same-sex couples who remain only in civil unions, domestic partnerships, etc. will remain without access to these benefits.
Huffington Post posted a series of videos on SSM, starting with one titled: "Delaware becomes the 11th state to legalize gay marriage" on their web site. See: http://on.aol.com/
Comment by the junior U.S. Senator for Delaware:
Christopher (Chris) Coons (D), said:
"This is a truly historic day for our state. Today’s vote was about dignity, respect, and basic human fairness for our neighbors. Every Delawarean deserves access to the full rights and responsibilities of marriage, no matter their sexual orientation. The passage of HB 75 ushers in a new era of equality in our state and marks an important moment in our state’s history. I am incredibly proud." 6
Comment by Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM):
NOM is the main national group devoted to preventing same-sex couples from marrying. Brown speculated that Senator Cathy Cloutier (R) and Rep. Michael Ramone (R) and any other Republican legislator who voted for a SSM bill will not be re-elected if they decide to run for office again. He said:
"I think there will be some people that will be replaced. ... Either in a primary or in a general election; we don’t really care."
He also said that NOM plans to have the SSM law repealed in Delaware. He said:
"It may take a long time ... but we’ll continue to fight and continue to support candidates who support traditional marriage."
Rep. Marone said that polls taken in his district showed that about two in three adults favor same-sex marriage. 7
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Same-sex marriage legislation clears Delaware Senate committee, vote expected Tuesday," Delaware Online, 2013-MAY-01, at: http://www.delawareonline.com/
- Lucas Grindley, "Delaware Moves Closer to Final Vote on Marriage Equality," Advocate, 2013-MAY-01, at: http://www.advocate.com/
- "Delaware becomes 11th state allowing same-sex marriage after state Senate vote," Associated Press, 2013-MAY-07, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
- "Karen Peterson, Delaware State Senator, Comes Out During Gay Marriage Debate," Huffington Post, 2013-MAY-07, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
- "Delaware becomes 11th state to approve same-sex marriage in close senate vote," Associated Press, 2013-MAY-07, at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
- Michelle Garcia, "No. 11: Marriage Equality Signed in Delaware," The Advocate, 2013-MAY-07, at: http://www.advocate.com/
- "Brian Brown: Delaware Gay Marriage Vote Will Be Campaign Issue Next Election," National Organization for Marriage blog, 2013-MAY-10, at: http://www.nomblog.com/
Copyright © 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
First posted: 2013-MAY-07
Latest update: 2013-MAY-10
Author: B.A. Robinson