Social conservatives in Delaware have
begun a campaign to defeat a measure that would offer gay and lesbian
couples many of the benefits and responsibilities of marriage.
The gay rights group Equality Delaware
announced last month that it was helping lawmakers draft legislation
to legalize civil unions in the state. The measure is expected to be
introduced sometime this month.
an “Urgent call to action,” the Delaware Family Policy
Council urged members to oppose the proposal.
“A vote for civil unions is a vote
for same-sex 'marriage' because civil unions are a springboard to
redefining marriage,” the group said, referring to instances –
for example in Illinois – in which activists called for marriage
equality after lawmakers approved civil unions. “Therefore, civil
unions are a desperate and dishonest attempt to force same-sex
'marriage' on Delaware.”
“If government changes the definition
of marriage, which civil unions will do, it will have to enforce the
belief that same sex 'marriage' is the equivalent of man/woman
marriage. This belief will be taught in the classroom.”
In its message, the group also targeted
three Republicans – Joseph Miro, Nick Manolakos and Michael Ramone –
and three Democrats – Quinton Johnson, Earl Jaques Jr. and Rebecca
Walker – seen as possible supporters of the measure.
If Delaware approves civil unions, the
state would join Illinois, Hawaii and New Jersey in offering the
lawmakers are also debating the issue.