Today, Delaware legislators introduced House Bill No. 75
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 13 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DOMESTIC RELATIONS TO PROVIDE FOR SAME-GENDER CIVIL MARRIAGE AND TO CONVERT EXISTING CIVIL UNIONS TO CIVIL MARRIAGES."It's not a sure thing."
It never is. Every state that is considering marriage equality legislation in 2013 has a large Democratic majority in its House and Senate. Every state has its Governor and its US Senators fully supporting the measure. The leader of the national Democratic Party and his second in command are fully behind the legislation. And yet in every one of these states states, Delware now included, "the votes aren't quite there yet," "It's not a done deal," or "It's going to be close."
Which perhaps is as it should be. Marriage equality legislation barely squeaked by in the New York Senate and the Maryland legislature, and none of the referenda (Maine, Maryland and Washington State) were won by huge majorities, although the margin was solid. Failure is not permanent, and success, if not guaranteed, will have ripple effects around the country and the world, and perhaps even in the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court. There is such a thing as momentum, and now is the time to take advantage of it.
So go for it, Delaware! If the other three states (MN, RI, IL) are holding back, do them one up and become the first state in 2013 to legalize same-sex marriage!
WHEREAS, it is the intent of the Delaware General Assembly to establish civil marriage equality for all families by allowing two persons to marry regardless of their genders, to recognize same-gender marriages and substantially similar legal unions solemnized outside of Delaware as marriages, to convert existing civil unions previously solemnized in Delaware to civil marriages, and to clarify that persons in a same-gender marriage shall enjoy all the rights, benefits and protections, and shall be subject to all the same responsibilities, obligations and duties as different-gender married persons under Delaware law:Make it so.
All laws of this State applicable to marriage or married spouses or the children of married spouses, whether derived from statutes, administrative rules or regulations, court rules, governmental policies, common law, court decisions, or any other provisions or sources of law, including in equity, shall apply equally to same-gender and different-gender married couples and their children...
The rights of same-gender married spouses, with respect to a child of whom either spouse becomes the parent during their marriage, shall be the same as the rights (including presumptions of parentage, paternity and maternity in chapter 8 of this title) of different-gender married spouses with respect to a child of whom either spouse becomes the parent during their marriage...
This Act shall be effective on July 1, 2013.