Marriage equality is coming to Delaware

From Zack Ford at Think Progress: Just now, the Delaware Senate voted 12-9, to approve marriage equality legislation (HB 75), guaranteeing that Delaware will become the 11th state that recognizes same-sex couples’ marriages. Civil unions, which Delaware previously legalized in 2011, will convert to marriages after one year. The House passed the marriage equality bill two weeks ago by a 23-18 vote and Gov. Jack Markell (D) has promised to sign it.

The rhetoric today was heated, as religious leaders invited to speak by the bill’s opponents condemned homosexuality for multiple hours. Conservative witnesses and senators alike repeatedly sought explanations for why people should not be free to discriminate against same-sex couples, even though such discrimination is already illegal under Delaware law. Many argued that marriage is primarily about raising children, ignoring that many same-sex families are already raising children in Delaware. ... A motion by opponents to table the bill failed 9-12.

Comments (4)

The way I understand the legislation, on 7/1/13, a couple with a domestic partnership or civil union may go to City Hall and, after filling out a few forms, their DP or CU becomes a marriage. One will not be able to have a marriage, however, until after 1/1/14. At least, that's how I understand it.


One thing I would appreciate learning (Cafe editors): for every State that has marriage equality (or soon will), can we get an update on all the Episcopal diocesan policies towards performing/blessing marriages? Thanks!

JC Fisher

IntegrityUSA is keeping up with that JCF.

Regarding civil unions, the summary from the Delaware Legislature says couples in civil unions may apply prior to July 2014 to have their civil unions converted to marriages. After that date, all will be converted automatically and there will no longer be civil unions. (Civil unions from other states will be recognized as marriages as far as rights go, but we will see.)

"This Act allows both parties to a civil union that is not subject to a pending proceeding for dissolution, annulment or legal separation to convert their civil union to a marriage prior to July 1, 2014 by application for a marriage license to the clerk of the peace of the county in which their civil union license was issued, with or without further solemnization of such marriage. On July 1, 2014, all remaining civil unions not currently subject to a proceeding for dissolution, annulment or legal separation will automatically convert to marriages."

Gary Paul Gilbert

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