Less than 3 weeks after its
introduction, a gay marriage bill in Delaware faces its final
legislative hurdle on its way to becoming law.
After hearing roughly 90 minutes of
testimony, the state's Senate Executive Committee approved the bill
with a 4-2 vote, sending the measure to the full Senate, where its
fate remains uncertain. The House approved the measure last
Wednesday with a 23-18 vote.
House approves gay marriage bill.)
Nicole Theis, president of the Delaware
Family Policy Council, testified against passage of the bill, saying
that such unions would hurt children.
Roberta Price, a 21-year Navy veteran,
told the panel that despite her 2008 California marriage, her wife
Colleen receives no benefits recognition from the military.
“If DOMA [the Defense of Marriage
Act] is overturned and Delaware doesn't pass marriage equality, we
are still strangers in the court of the law,” Price said. “I ask
you as a gay veteran and as a Delawarean to please pass this bill.”
Timothy Koob, a representative from the
Wilmington-based chemical company DuPont, said that Delaware
employers are at a disadvantage when compared to those based in
states which have legalized such unions.
“DuPont believes our support for
marriage equality represents … our commitment to inclusion,” Koob
“The distinction is not between
people, it's between sin,” Rev. Judy Mason, an opponent, told
the committee. “In Leviticus 18:22 God calls homosexuality an
abomination, a perversion. … In Romans 1:26, he says both men and
women involved in homosexuality his judgment is they are deserving of
death. That breaks my heart. I don't desire that anybody die and go
to hell. … When you say 'yes' to HB75, same-sex marriage, you are
saying 'no' to God. … And remember the warning from Ezekiel, if you
tell a righteous man to turn from his wicked ways and he loses
righteousness I will require his blood at your hand if you don't warn
him. Today consider yourselves warned.”
Jared and Jordan, 16-year-old twins,
spoke on behalf of their 2-mom family.
“No child should have to fight for
their hardworking, dedicated parents to have the same rights as other
parents,” Jordan said.
Richard Smith, president of the
Delaware chapter of the NAACP, also endorsed the bill, saying that
his group supports marriage equality because “We support
“This is about protections,” Smith
said. “This is about people being happy and in love.”
If the measure is approved, the state
would discontinue civil unions after July 1, and existing civil
unions would be upgraded to full marriage.
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