One of the smallest states made a big decision to uphold equal rights today. Delaware became the 11th state to legalize same-sex marriage by passing House Bill 75 in a 12 to 9 vote in the Senate, following last months 23-18 vote by the House of Representatives. According to the government’s announcement:
By signing HB75 into law, Delaware establishes civil marriage equality for all families by allowing two persons to marry regardless of their genders, to recognize same-gender marriages and substantially similar legal unions solemnized outside of Delaware as marriages, to convert existing civil unions previously solemnized in Delaware to civil marriages, and to clarify that persons in a same-gender marriage shall enjoy all the rights, benefits and protections, and shall be subject to all the same responsibilities, obligations and duties as different-gender married persons under Delaware law.
It was with the help of grassroots advocacy efforts, such as Equality Delaware, and support from faith leaders in the state that support for this bill was strengthened. The law will take effect July 1st, 2013 and with polls suggesting that the majority of American’s are in favor of equal marriage rights allowing same-sex couples to marry, we can only hope that other states will follow suit.
Written By Georgianna Dolan-Reilly, LMSW
SJS Staff Writer
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