Legislators in Delaware will introduce freedom to marry legislation today

Today, legislators in Delaware will introduce legislation to extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. At 2:30 p.m., Equality Delaware and other marriage advocates will watch as dozens of elected officials, including Gov. Jack Markell, Attorney General Beau Biden, Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, Senate President Pro Tempore Patricia Blevins, House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, and leaders from the NAACP, labor unions, and the lead bill sponsors in the House and Senate will all attend the press conference to formally announce the introduction of the bill to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.

The introduction will be led by DE Rep. Melanie George Smith, who sponsored a successful bill two years ago to create civil union for same-sex couples, said she was excited and proud to introduce the bill in her state today. She said:

We want to make sure that everything is lined up that we've got a bill that's legally and technically perfect that way there can be no question. It's such a controversial issue from some people's perspective that we don't want folks picking apart the bill on technical matters or anything along those lines.

Momentum for marriage in Delaware has been building over the past few months in the state. Political leaders - led by Gov. Jack Markell, Attorney General Beau Biden, and Senator Chris Coons - have spoken out stridently and consistently in favor of marriage for same-sex couples, and groups from across the state, including labor, faith, and business leaders, have explained why marriage matters. 

Just this month, two prominent Delaware elected officials announced their support for the freedom to marry. On April 1, U.S. Congressman John Carney announced his support, saying, "I know that marriage is about commitment, love, and mutual respect. All Delawareans should have the privilege of participating in this institution." The next day, U.S. Senator Tom Carper also announced support, saying, "I've been reminded of the power of one of my core values: The Golden Rule. It calls on us to treat others as we want to be treated. That's why today, after a great deal of soul searching, I'm endorsing marriage equality."

Freedom to Marry is proud to support Equality Delaware in the campaign to win marriage in Delaware in 2013. Delaware is one of the states in Freedom to Marry's Win More States Fund this year. You can support the work to win marriage in Delaware - and more states - by giving today.