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Videos: Delaware Adopts Civil Union Bill; Governor Will Sign

Del 
(the news journal)

UPDATED

The Delaware House has approved civil unions for same-sex couples by a vote of 26-15.

DelawareThe Senate passed the bill last week by a vote of 13-6.

The News Journal reports

The vote followed three hours of debate. When the vote was announced, the balcony erupted into cheers, applause and cries of “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

With passage of the bill – S.B. 30 – Delaware becomes the eighth state to grant such legal status to same-sex couples.

The bill is written to parallel Delaware’s marriage code, but opponents say it will certainly be used to fight for same-sex marriage.

Said Governor Markell last week after the bill passed the Senate: "It's time for this bill to pass. It's time for the bill to be signed. It's the right thing to do for the people of Delaware."

Listen to the vote and hear the House break into cheers, and watch a report on the new civil unions, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Soon very soon first class citizenship will arrive. Until then 2nd class will have to do.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Apr 14, 2011 7:47:40 PM


  2. Congratulations, Delaware! Another step forward!

    Posted by: ichabod | Apr 14, 2011 7:48:04 PM


  3. Congrats Delaware! Welcome to the club. Now, start laying the groundwork for the next step.

    Posted by: HawaiiBIll | Apr 14, 2011 8:09:57 PM


  4. Congratulations Delaware. Being a 2nd class citizen is an improvement on being completely invisible.

    Posted by: David | Apr 14, 2011 8:12:43 PM


  5. when willl the law take effect?

    Posted by: Hyhybt | Apr 14, 2011 9:37:48 PM


  6. I just noticed they have two dudes on their flag. Delaware's first same-sex couple?

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Apr 14, 2011 10:05:55 PM


  7. The law takes effect at 10 a.m. (weird) on January 1, 2012.

    Posted by: Tyler | Apr 14, 2011 10:45:26 PM


  8. A nice step toward full marriage rights

    Posted by: deanybeany | Apr 14, 2011 11:51:56 PM


  9. Given that public opinion massively favors civil unions, I wonder how much farther we would be on this issue if the self righteous crowd had not demanded that we waste time going after marraige.
    I still think we should switch to civil unions, as a STRATEGIC move, and use video of suburban couples and gay soldiers as pr in a push for enda.
    But that's just me.

    Posted by: Wilberforce | Apr 15, 2011 12:11:59 AM


  10. And 5 years from now Delaware will change it to marriage and nobody will even notice the difference.

    Posted by: PRE | Apr 15, 2011 1:54:05 AM


  11. The comment by WILBERFORCE sounds OK on the surface, but it's not. As someone in a civil union myself, I can tell you how few people -- even in the gay community -- understand what a civil union is. It is supposed to be exactly like marriage (at the state level), but very few get that. I had to BATTLE to get retiree health benefits for my partner, even though my company had offered health insurance to employees' partners for years. The wording in the HR documents was ambiguous. Every time I fill out a form (a loan application, or form at a doctor's office, for example) there's the question of which box to pick -- married or single. NO, neither! That said, I agree with David that it's an improvement over being invisible. Kudos to Delaware for taking a step forward!

    Posted by: John | Apr 15, 2011 2:54:55 AM


  12. @John: what state do you live in?

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 15, 2011 5:37:23 AM


  13. What you SHOULD consider doing is actually getting MARRIED in a state like Iowa or Connecticut or in D.C. Then register your marriage in the state that you live. The law (most likely) says that same-sex couples married elsewhere are treated like civil unions in state law.
    But you can still "check" the married box (and travel to Canada as a married couple) even though the state might only consider you "civilly united." You can also tell your friends that "we're married" --it saves a lot of time and sounds better.
    Congratulations to Delaware (now the 8th state where civil unions are recognized) along with the 5 states that recognized full marriage equality. Hope New York gets a marriage bill done soon! That would be huge.
    Keep making progress, even though it isn't perfect.

    Posted by: TruthSeeker_Too | Apr 15, 2011 6:30:34 AM


  14. @Wilburforce: There is no evidence to support the idea that if only we'd pushed for CUs instead of marriage equality we'd be much farther along by now. In fact, evidence points to the contrary--demanding marriage equality opened the doors to compromise CU legislation, which it turn opens the door for marriage once people understand, duh, that the sky does not fall.

    There is no rational reason why gay couples should be excluded from civil marriage. There is no rational reason not to demand full equality, unless we view ourselves as second class citizens. Furthermore, DOMA addresses marriage. If it is repealed or found unconstitutional, couples with CUs or some other unequal partnership are in unknown legal territory. The legal meaning of marriage is universally understood.

    I'm glad Delaware is moving forward towards marriage equality, but this is a step not an end.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 15, 2011 9:49:04 AM


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