Three of Delaware's largest labor unions have endorsed legalizing gay marriage in Delaware.

On Monday, Equality Delaware, the state's largest gay rights advocate, announced it had secured the endorsements of the Delaware state AFL-CIO, the Delaware Building and Construction Trades Council and Delaware Public Employees Council 81 – AFSCME. Together, the unions represent more than 40,000 members statewide.

Lawmakers are expected to consider marriage equality legislation later this session.

“We call on the General Assembly to pass a marriage equality bill this year,” said Michael A. Begatto, executive director of Delaware Public Employees Council 81 – AFSCME. “Marriage equality is an issue that is important to our organization. We represent all working families, not just some families. We believe all Delawareans should be treated fairly, including having the freedom to marry the person they love.”

Samuel E. Lathem, president of the Delaware State AFL-CIO, said his union's support was “entirely consistent with the long and proud history of the AFL-CIO in working to advance social justice and equality for all people.”

“Now is the time to pass a marriage bill,” added Harry Gravell, president of the Delaware Building & Construction Trades Council.