Delaware’s House Administration Committee approved the gay marriage bill with a 4-1 vote sending it to a House floor vote.
The bill – HB75 – was debated today (17 April) for 90 minutes in which speakers were given two minutes to testify, reported On Top Magazine.
Richard Smith, president of the Delaware chapter of the NAACP, was among those testifying saying: ‘We believe marriage equality is a civil right’.
Jared and Jordan spoke on behalf of their lesbian mothers saying: ‘No child should have to fight for their hardworking, dedicated parents to have the same rights as other parents’.
Opponents of marriage equality in Delaware warned that religious groups would be forced to marry gay couples.
But the House Democrats countered the claim in a tweet saying: ‘HB75 states no clergy of any denomination required to perform any marriage, including same-sex, that doesn’t conform w/religious beliefs’.
The full House is expected to debate the issue this Thursday (18 April).
Delaware Governor Jack Markell says if the state legislature passes a marriage equality bill, he will happily sign it into law.
According to a recent poll commissioned by Equality Denver, Delaware residents favor legislation enacting marriage equality by a large majority.
Gay marriage has been fiercely criticized by Wilmington’s Bishop Francis Malooly, who stated it created a culture in which heterosexual couples were ‘less likely to get married’.
On the 1 January 2012 Delaware legalized gay civil unions and at least 565 civil union licenses have been issued since then.