Delaware Governor Jack Markell will
sign a civil unions bill into law on Wednesday, May 11. The law
gives gay and lesbian couples most of the legal protections of
Markell will sign the landmark
legislation approved by lawmakers last month at the Queen Theatre
located on Market Street in Wilmington. A representative from the
venue said a room had yet to be assigned for the signing ceremony but
its most likely space accommodates 150 people and larger rooms are
Markell told a crowd at the bill's
introduction that he looked forward to signing the bill into law.
A champagne “thank-you” toast to
the governor, legislators and community, a performance by the Rainbow
Chorale of Delaware and a dessert reception will also be featured at
the event, the gay rights group Equality Delaware announced.
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 in
Social conservatives who opposed the
bill testified that it would be used as a stepping stone to legalize
marriage for gay and lesbian couples.
Delaware's civil unions law will take
effect on January 1, 2012.