This Week: The freedom to marry faces critical votes in Nevada, Rhode Island and Delaware

This week, legislation to extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in Rhode Island and Delaware - and the first step toward winning marriage in Nevada - faces critical votes. Marriage could move forward with official votes in these three states this week!

Nevada

Today, the Senate in Nevada will vote on SJR13, a resolution that will begin the multi-year process of repealing the state's anti-marriage amendment and replacing it with the freedom to marry. On April 11, the Nevada Senate Legislative Operations and Elections Committee voted in favor of advancing the resolution, and last week, the resolution was amended to include language to protect religious institutions. 

The vote today marks the first step in the process of winning the freedom to marry for all Nevadans. According to Nevada law, If the legislature passes the resolution this year, in 2013, they must pass an identical resolution in 2015, during their next session. If the resolution successfully passes through both votes, the decision will go before a public vote at the ballot in November 2016. 

Learn more about the freedom to marry in Nevada.   

Delaware

Tomorrow, the full Delaware House of Representatives will vote on HB75, the bill that would extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples across the state. The marriage bill was introduced on April 11 in both the DE House and Senate. 

The vote will come a week after the Delaware House Administration Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of advancing the legislation to a full floor vote.  

Learn more about the freedom to marry in Delaware.    

Rhode Island

Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee in Rhode Island is scheduled to vote on both the marriage bill (S38) and a discriminatory referendum bill (S708). Last month, the committee held a hearing on both bills. Marriage advocates have urged the committee to send the marriage bill to the Senate floor and reject the discriminatory referendum bill. 

Ray Sullivan, campaign manager for Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, the coalition working to win marriage in 2013 in RI, said: "After months of tireless work, thousands of constituent conversations and hundreds of volunteer hours, the campaign to bring the freedom to marry to all loving, committed couples is poised to take a historic step forward. We are thrilled to be on the cusp of this critical vote, and do believe we have a path to victory, but are taking nothing for granted."

Learn more about the freedom to marry in Rhode Island.