Late this afternoon, in a 12-9 bipartisan vote, the Delaware Senate gave final approval to HB 75, a bill granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry in that state effective July 1 of this year. The Delaware House of Representatives passed the measure last month by a vote of 23-18.
Democratic Governor Jack Markell signed HB 75 into law just moments later, reportedly telling the crowd, “I do not intend to make any of you wait one minute longer.”
With the addition of Delaware to the equality column, eleven U.S. states plus Washington, D.C. allow same-sex couples the freedom to marry. Fifty-one million people — sixteen percent of the American population — now live in marriage equality states.
That number may soon swell yet again, as Minnesota appears poised to move forward on equal marriage legislation. That state’s Democratic House speaker scheduled a vote on a same-sex marriage bill for Thursday, a move he had vowed not to do unless the votes required for passage were secured. If the bill clears the House, the Senate could vote on it as early as Saturday; leaders in that chamber are similarly confident that the votes are there for passage. Pro-equality Governor Mark Dayton has pledged to sign the bill into law if it reaches his desk.
If the bill clears each of these hurdles, marriages in Minnesota would begin on August 1.
Marriage equality continues to move forward at a dizzying pace. Here’s an update:
Delaware: Today, the full Delaware Senate is expected to vote on a bill that would grant same-sex couples the freedom to marry in that state. The measure, which is supported by 54% of Delawareans, has already passed the House of Representatives; pro-equality Democratic Governor Jack Markell has promised to sign it into law if it reaches his desk. Continue reading →
In the week that I’ve been apartment-hunting with Michael and Rosie in DC, marriage equality has moved forward at a lightning pace. Just in case you haven’t been able to keep up with the daily barrage of freedom-to-marry news, here’s a brief recap.
France gave final approval to marriage equality on Tuesday, April 24. Opponents are challenging the legality of the law before France’s Constitutional Court, but the New York Times reports that that challenge is expected to fail. Pro-equality President François Hollande will sign the measure and same-sex weddings will begin this summer. France is the 14th country in the world to approve nationwide marriage equality (not the 17th, as some reports have erroneously stated). Continue reading →
It’s a mixed bag in marriage equality news today. First, from Colombia, as reported by Gay Star News:
The Colombian Senate decides to suspend marriage equality vote until Tuesday (23 April) by a vote of 35-30.
Only 65 senators attended the vote out of the Senate’s 102 members.
During an intense discussion that started today (17 April) at 5pm local time, the Senate unexpectedly postponed the vote on the equal marriage bill.
The decision was made following a proposal of the Senator Juan Restrepo of the ruling ‘U’ party, who pointed out that the debate ‘was very important’ for country’s future and that therefore it should be delayed.
35 senators voted in favor of the proposition while 30 opposed, three hours later.
The progress of marriage equality continues at a breakneck pace.
An equal marriage bill will be introduced in the Delaware House of Representatives this afternoon by Democratic Rep. Melanie George Smith, who also sponsored that state’s civil unions bill in 2011. According to the Washington Post, the marriage equality measure has the support of Democratic leaders in both chambers of the Delaware General Assembly. Democratic Governor Jack Markell has promised to sign the measure if it reaches his desk.
Venerable French newspaper Le Mondereports that the French Senate passed adoption equality last night. The vote comes just one day after that passed the same-sex marriage portion of a marriage and adoption equality bill that cleared France’s Assemblée nationale in February.
Next, the French Senate will vote once more on the bill in its entirety. If any changes are made, it goes back to the National Assembly for one final vote. The bill is expected to pass any remaining procedural hurdles, and President François Hollande will sign it into law.
Also last night, the Uruguay House of Representatives gave final approval to a marriage equality bill by a vote of 71-21. The Senate passed the bill last month.
The bill now goes to President José Mujica, who has promised to sign it into law. Uruguay will become the third country in the Americas and the twelfth country in the world to have nationwide marriage equality, alongside Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and neighboring Argentina.