Delaware | Gay Marriage | News

Delaware House Passes Marriage Equality Bill in 23-18 Vote


Delaware's House has approved HB 75, the marriage equality bill, in a 23-18 vote.

The bill now moves to Senate consideration.

Equality Delaware asks residents to contact their legislators here.

The Delaware Senate currently has a 13-8 split in favor of Democrats. Governor Jack Markell has promised to sign legislation if it hits his desk.

Listen to the bill's sponsor, Rep. Melanie George Smith, speak today on the House floor, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via good as you)

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Great. What are prospects in the Senate?

    Posted by: Jake | Apr 23, 2013 6:02:43 PM

  2. Let's say the Senate goes our way and it is signed into law. Is there a way for the opposition to petition to have it put on the ballot? Forgive my ignorance of Delaware law. I'm just wondering if it is smooth sailing if it passes or if we have to possibly fight yet another battle.

    Posted by: James in Hollywood | Apr 23, 2013 6:14:35 PM

  3. James:

    Delaware only has referenda for school funding. No one can petition the state to put this on the ballot, so if it passes it's law until a future General Assembly overturns it, which with the way history is going, is not going to happen.

    Posted by: Delawarean | Apr 23, 2013 6:22:51 PM

  4. Anyone want to place bets on who's going to finish first? I'm pulling for Delaware over Rhode Island!

    Posted by: K | Apr 23, 2013 6:25:56 PM

  5. I dunno. Our Senate is much more treacherous than our House. This bill will be pulled through the wringer on that side of the legislature.

    Posted by: Delawarean | Apr 23, 2013 6:28:18 PM

  6. What a TERRIBLE day for NOM. LOL!

    Posted by: Scott Johansen | Apr 23, 2013 6:31:18 PM

  7. In related news, I find it appalling and repulsive that the REPUBLICAN Minority leader of Rhode Island voted in favor of gay marriage, and was very supportive...and the DEMOCRAT minority leader joined in on the vote today just to vote no, and did everything in his power to stop it. Rhode Island democrats are truly my least favorite democrats in the union (regardless of this vote) Their push back against our community the past 5 years has been striking.

    Posted by: IonMovies | Apr 23, 2013 6:33:05 PM

  8. Keep us posted and informed, Delawarean. This seems to be happening really fast.

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Apr 23, 2013 6:33:45 PM

  9. This is wonderful, although I hope all Delaware LGBT use social media to request their straight allies touch base with their elected leaders as well. This is a group effort...get involved.

    My cousin in Delaware is gay and has been with his partner for 14 years now! It's sooo sad to me that my siblings have all divorced and remarried (one divorced after 4 months of marriage) yet it's illegal for my gay cousin to marry his life partner of 14 freakin years!

    Posted by: Melanie | Apr 23, 2013 6:36:40 PM

  10. Things are still really sketchy in Rhode Island given many Democrats there are on the fence or completely against. Hopefully Delaware is easier. I haven't read much on what's happening in Delaware's Senate.....treachery isn't the word I wanted to read. Gotta call your legislators on the fence if you live in DE to make sure equality passes!

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 23, 2013 6:52:50 PM

  11. Things are hopeful for our neighbors in DE. Meanwhile in PA....nothing.

    Posted by: Dave In PA | Apr 23, 2013 7:26:11 PM

  12. Some of the Delaware Dems in the Senate are from "downstate" -- Sussex or Kent County, mostly rural or small towns. Many of those Dems will be against the bill. One fence-sitter is Sen. Lopez from the Rehoboth Beach area -- very gay summer resort, but many of the full-time residents (voters) in his area are not exactly liberal. It will probably be close in the DE Senate.
    Interestingly, since all (5?) Republicans in the RI Senate came out in support of the bill in RI, wouldn't that make passage in RI more likely -- despite the conservative, Catholic Dems (whom the church is all over).

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | Apr 23, 2013 7:26:47 PM

  13. Hopefully things go the way of equality in Delaware...

    Posted by: | Apr 23, 2013 7:32:13 PM

  14. @MiddleoftheRoader: My understanding is that with the 5 Republicans, Rhode Island's senate indeed has the votes. It could even get done without a majority of Democrats voting for it, which isn't totally unlikely either.

    Posted by: Bruno | Apr 23, 2013 9:54:44 PM

  15. What the hell is going on in Illinois? Can't they find 12 people who are for it?

    Posted by: Uh | Apr 23, 2013 10:06:41 PM

  16. Jake, there are seven Democratic Senators in Delaware who are official sponsors or co-sponsors of the marriage equality bill. There are eight Senators (six Repugs and two Dems) who are likely to vote no. That leaves six Senators as the swing votes and we need at least four of them to prevail. They include four Dems who voted yes on the civil unions bill a couple of years ago (Bushweller, Hall-Long, Marshall and McBride), one freshman Republican (Ernie Lopez) and one Republican who was seen as a possible yes vote on CUs but who didn't show up for the vote (Cloutier). Twenty of the 21 current House members who'd been in the House in 2011 and voted for CUs then also voted for full equality today, so our best bet is probably those four Dems who voted for CUs in 2011. Delawareans should call their offices.

    Agree with Bruno that, unless some Senators who've previously indicated their support for full equality now change their minds, we already have enough votes to pass the bill in the full Senate in Rhode Island. That vote is expected tomorrow, meaning that, in response to K's question, Rhode Island should be the favorite to cross the finish line first.

    Posted by: Patric | Apr 23, 2013 11:00:21 PM

  17. Hope it happens!

    btw - Anyone else think Delaware's state flag is kinda gay?!!

    Posted by: Rexford | Apr 24, 2013 3:34:40 AM

  18. My partner (of a decade) and I are having a civil union and big reception in Rehoboth this weekend. So I'm kind of hoping there's some way to expedite this marriage approval in the next few days! Fingers crossed!

    Posted by: Brian | Apr 24, 2013 10:49:13 AM

  19. Here's a source indicating that Lopez, who recently voted against his party on a couple of other controversial bills (death penalty repeal and gun background checks), has already said he'll vote no (but there's no harm in attempting to persuade him over to our side). This analysis does predict, however, that we'll prevail with the votes of all four swing vote Dems.

    Posted by: Patric | Apr 24, 2013 12:05:29 PM

  20. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Brian, but even if the Senate were to vote and the governor to sign the bill this week, it wouldn't take effect until this summer. Sorry, but hope that you and your fiance and all your loved ones have a great celebration this weekend!

    Posted by: Patric | Apr 24, 2013 12:06:49 PM

Post a comment


« «News: AP Hack, Richie Havens, Max Baucus, Giant Snails« «