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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...

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Listen LIVE: Delaware's House Debate and Vote on Marriage Equality


Debate on a marriage equality bill is currently underway in Delaware's House of Representatives.

Listen live HERE.

Delaware House to Vote on Marriage Equality Today

DelawareDelaware's House is set to debate and vote on marriage equality today.

The legislation, HB75, was introduced two weeks ago by Delaware State Rep. Melanie George Smith (D-Bear). It was advanced last week by the Delaware House Administration Committee in a 4-1 vote. Governor Jack Markell has promised to sign a bill if it hits his desk.

Bear believes the bill has the votes to pass: "I’m confident that we have a majority of Delaware representatives — so over 21 out of the 41 — that will do the right thing and vote to support equality in Delaware."

Stay tuned for updates on Towleroad as this develops.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell Introduces Marriage Equality Bill: VIDEO


Yesterday I reported that Delaware's Governor Jack Markell was set to introduce a marriage equality bill, and he did, Reuters reports:

Markell, a Democrat, said in a telephone interview that while he was confident the bill would pass, given that his party controls both the upper and lower chambers of the legislature, "nothing is sure until it's done."

"What we know is same-sex couples want to get married for the same reason that other couples want to get married," Markell said in a telephone interview.

Markell announced the legislation at an afternoon press conference, where he was joined by state Senate President Pro Tempore Patricia Blevins, House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf and Attorney General Beau Biden, Markell's office said.

Watch video of Markell introducing the bill and a few additional clips, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Marriage Equality Push Begins in Delaware Today as Officials Gather to Introduce Bill

As I mentioned last week, Delaware is set to make its big push for marriage equality, starting today.

DelawareSlate's Dave Weigel reports:

The current state house has a 26-15 Democratic majority; the current state senate is split 13-8 for the Democrats. Gov. Jack Markell has supported gay marriage for years. And I already mentioned Joe Biden.

Well, the gay marriage push starts today. This afternoon, most of the state's leadership -- governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state senate president, speaker of the house -- will gather in Wilmington to announce legislation that would legalize gay marriage. All they need to do is alter Delaware's statute on marriage, which prohibits unions between "people of the same gender."

Marriage Equality Bill to Be Introduced This Week in Delaware; Governor Says He Will Sign: VIDEO


Delaware Governor Jack Markell will sign a marriage equality bill if one comes across his desk, he told students at the University of Delaware yesterday.

And a bill is beginning its journey this week, according to the News Journal:

“It can happen here in Delaware and it can happen this year,” Markell told the audience tonight. “But it will only happen if you do your part to make it happen.”

The gathering at the University Of Delaware Trabant center this afternoon was a rallying call to get students and others energized about the push to make Delaware the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Delaware is expected to be pre-filed in the Delaware House of Representatives on Thursday, before lawmakers return to Dover next week. Rep. Melanie George Smith, a Bear Democrat, is expected to sponsor the bill, shepherding the marriage proposal through the General Assembly. Smith sponsored a 2011 bill allowing same-sex civil unions in Delaware.


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