The Delaware House on Thursday approved
a civil unions bill and sent it to the desk of Governor Jack Markell
– a supporter of the legislation – for his signature. Now, two
state representatives are talking about why they voted for the bill.
Democratic Senator Dave Sokola's civil
unions bill gives gay and lesbian couples all the legal protections
of marriage. It cleared the Democrat-controlled House after a short
two-hour debate with a 26 to 15 vote.
Representative Nick Manalakos, one of
the two Republicans who voted for the bill in the House – the other
being Mike Ramone – told WDEL 1150AM that opponents' argument that
civil unions would start Delaware down a “slippery slope” are
“I thought about it. Prayed about it
long and hard myself,” Manalakos said. “And decided I took an
oath that put people's business before my personal interests.”
“It became confused in a lot of
people's minds, so the fears were out there that we were stepping off
the ledge, morally, and I just didn't get that sense from reading the
bill,” Democratic Representative Earl Jacques said.
Delaware lawmakers made quick work of
the bill, going from introduction to passage in the Legislature in
just over 3 weeks. By contrast, similar recent victories in Hawaii
and Illinois took years to accomplish. And New Jersey adopted civil
unions only after a mandate from the state's highest court.
GOP-controlled Colorado House committee killed a similar measure
earlier this month.