Polls, endorsements and new supporters: Updates from campaigns in DE, IL, MN & RI
February 20, 2013
The legislative campaigns to win marriage for same-sex couples surged on this week in Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, and Rhode Island with exciting new updates emerging from each state.
Yesterday, three of the largest labor unions in Delaware publicly endorsed the freedom to marry. The three groups - the Delaware State AFL-CIO, the Delaware Building and Construction Trades Council, and Delaware Public Employees Council 81-AFSCME - represent over 40,000 members across the state and demonstrate unprecedented momentum to the campaign to secure marriage for all families in Delaware.
Lis Goodman, Board President of Equality Delaware, the organization working to pass marriage in the state, applauded the endorsements, saying, "The labor movement has long stood for treating all people with dignity and respect, and for fighting for fairness. This type of support makes it clearer every day that this is the year for marriage equality in Delaware."
Last week in Hawaii, the freedom to marry was faced with a procedural hurdle when the HI legislature reached the deadline for scheduling hearings for bills without scheduling the marriage bill. The most likely outcome now is that the marriage bill will be placed on hold for the remainder of 2013, but as the bills remain "alive" through 2014, Hawaii United for Marriage is now working to encourage supportive legislators to take affirmative steps to move marriage forward.
Despite the hurdle, these past two months have seen huge gains for marriage in Hawaii, with Governor Abercrombie urging supportive movement on the bills and Honolulu Mayor Caldwell signing onto Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. In the months leading up to 2014, you can urge your representatives in Hawaii to take action on the freedom to marry HERE.
After last week's huge step forward with the IL Senate passing a marriage bill on February 14, Illinois Unites for Marriage, the coalition working to secure the freedom to marry in Illinois in 2013, is continuing to amplify why marriage matters in the state.
This weekend, The Chicago Tribune published a supportive editorial, explaining "A spouse is a spouse" and adding, "Ladies and gentlemen of the House, it's your turn to step up." Yesterday, a Crains/Ipsos poll of 600 adults indicated that 50 percent of respondents support the marriage bill, and only 29 percent oppose it. That's a historic 21-point margin of people in the state who favor the freedom to marry.
Momentum continues to build for the freedom to marry in the state. Last Thursday's Valentine's Day rally in honor of Freedom to Marry Day at the MN State Capitol, organized by Minnesotans United for All Families, drew more than 2,000 supporters, including hundreds of members of the clergy.
Last night, MN State Sen. Branden Petersen announced that he was preparing to become the first Republican co-sponsor of the marriage bill. He said, "At this point, I am concerned about doing the right thing. ... I thought it was important to engage the issue now, and when we do it, do it right, and that there's some perspective from the people I represent in that."
Today, over 60 business leaders across the state launched Rhode Island Business Leaders for Marriage Equality to voice why marriage matters to business leaders and why passing the marriage bill would be good for the state.
The pledge reads, in part, "I support marriage equality because every employee or potential employee will be treated fairly, it helps increase our competitive business environment and it is good for Rhode Island's economy."