The Delaware Legislature will debate a
bill that offers gay and lesbian couples many of the benefits and
responsibilities of marriage.
According to WBOC TV, lawmakers will
introduce legislation to legalize civil unions in March.
Helping draft the measure is gay rights
group Equality Delaware.
“It's important because we have a
large contingency of older gay couples who are going to start facing
real problems as they start to age with inheritance issues, with
pension issues and the ability to live with a partner in a nursing
home,” said Equality Delaware President Lisa Goodman.
Goodman added that clergy would not be
forced to bless gay and lesbian unions.
A narrow majority (50%) of Delaware
adults support giving gay couples the right to marry, according to
polling data released by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
If approved, Delaware would join New
Jersey, Illinois and Hawaii in offering the union. Illinois
Governor Pat Quinn signed a civil unions bill into law last month
Governor Neil Abercrombie has pledged to sign a similar measure
approved by lawmakers last week. Colorado
will also take up the issue.