A civil union bill in Delaware is headed to the House for consideration after the Senate passed it this afternoon by a vote of 13-6. Two senators were absent and did not take part in the vote.
The bill, sponsored by state Sen. David Sokola, D-Newark, with about two dozen co-sponsors, would grant same-sex couples the same legal protections and responsibilities as married couples.
"With liberty and justice for all – with this bill we give those words real meaning for more people," Sokola said.
The Senate rejected two amendments proposed by Sen. Robert Venables, D-Laurel. Venables wanted a public referendum on the issue before any such law could take place, along with another amendment that would broaden the bill to include opposite-sex couples and family members who live together.
The standing room only crowd burst into cheers after the measure was passed…The measure now heads to the House, where if it passes, the Governor is poised to sign it. Immediately after the vote, Governor Markell tells WDEL he's pleased.
'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,' says Markell."