Delaware legalizes gay marriage

I hate to admit it, but this one practically snuck up on me.  I was busy flying back to DC from Chicago, with dog in tow, and Delaware goes ahead and becomes the 11th state to legalize gay marriages.

The new law takes effect July 1.

Just two weeks ago, Rhode Island passed gay marriage legislation, making same-sex weddings legal in that state on August 1.

The moment the gay marriage law passed the Rhode Island legislature.

The moment the gay marriage law passed the Rhode Island legislature.

France and Uruguay and New Zealand have also in just the past few weeks legalized gay marriage as well.  Who can forget the New Zealand parliament breaking into song:

It’s almost bizarre what’s happened to gay rights over the past year.  I can tell just by looking at my inbox.  The gay rights news, and particularly the gay marriage news, is out of control compared to what it was before.

The momentum the gay rights movement gained because of the elections last November cannot be overstated.  It’s led conservatives from George Will to Newt Gingrich to suggest that gay marriage is now inevitable nationwide, it’s only a matter of time.  And Colin Powell launched a broadside against the GOP’s “vein of intolerance.”

As I noted right after the election, it wasn’t just gay rights.  Women had a big day (in part simply because all the “rape” boys lost), as did marijuana legalization advocates.  In a very real way, last November was a repudiation of conservatism, or at the very least, things moved to the left.  And on gay rights, they started rolling down a hill and picking up speed.

Here’s Delaware governor Jack Markell holding up the signed marriage equality law.


Delaware governor Jack Markell holding up the signed marriage equality law. Photo via Dennis Dison on Twitter.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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31 Responses to “Delaware legalizes gay marriage”

  1. Naja pallida says:

    Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. -Hebrews 13:2

  2. CrossWinds says:

    One angel has more power than all the armies of this world……You might want to reconsider……

  3. Naja pallida says:

    That’s it, I’m renaming my band Knife Fight at the Pearly Gates.

  4. CrossWinds says:


    …..2 Timothy 4:7-9…….

    7…… I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

  5. BeccaM says:

    I agree. Heck, we still have 29 states where it is perfectly legal to be fired for being gay. National remedies, whether through Congress or SCOTUS are the only way we’ll secure equal rights for all LGBT Americans.

  6. Pat says:

    yes indeed. Still hasn’t been corrected.

  7. MyrddinWilt says:

    Its not going to be over without SCOTUS or Congressional involvement.

    Consider this, Congress could pass an anti-DOMA law that requires states to recognize marriage equality. So when the bigots on the court are thinking about the issue they have a problem, if they uphold DOMA they also create a precedent that gives Congress the authority to decide such issues.

    Until recently one argument being made against DOMA was that it trampled states rights. Which it does but I think that is a shitty argument to make given that it was created to defend segregation. Now almost everyone has switched sides on that but one or two of the Democrats who were listed as ‘holdouts’ now turn out to have not being paying quite enough attention.

    11 states is not 50, but it is trending towards half. We would probably get half this year but for the states that passed constitutional amendments. Which is why I think SCOTUS is going to be forced to take a decision for equality fairly soon. The rulings in the Prop H8 and DOMA cases are likely to be narrow. Prop H8 looks likely to be tossed on jurisdiction and DOMA could be killed on any number of federal issues without creating a binding precedent on state cases. But once everyone knows where SCOTUS stands on those it is going to be onto bringing cases in the constitutional amendment states.

  8. BeccaM says:

    Actually, what’s happening now has some parallels in the repeals of anti-miscegenation laws in the last century. It’s not an exact match, given that was a process of many decades and there were more states that simply never had such laws, but it’s not that far off either.

    It took the Supremes to sweep away those laws, because there were plenty of states, particularly south of Mason-Dixon and east of the Rockies, who had no particular inclination to repeal those laws on their own.

  9. Lauren Mayer says:

    Congrats to Delaware!, and as a Californian I’m a little embarrassed that we’re now lagging behind New England . . . meanwhile, I hope opponents of marriage equality will start to look at the actual evidence instead of making hypothetical dire predictions – despite their worst fears, in every state which has embraced marriage equality, “Western Civilization Is Still Intact” (and here’s a little musical reminder:

  10. Snipps Cincinnati says:

    Also a great read – Glad to see this is happening!

  11. FLL says:

    I would pay for tickets to watch Michele Bachmann flounder about like a fish out of water. Would she finally acknowledge the arc of the moral universe inevitably bending toward justice, as Martin Luther King put it? Would she vow to fight on for bigotry in spite of the apparent hopelessness of her quest? Would she sublimate her malice by getting a new hobby like collecting antique doorknobs or collecting hundreds of pairs of high-fashion shoes? The spectacle of Michele’s psyche exploding in full view of the entire nation would make a victory in Minnesota unique.

  12. FLL says:

    The speaker of the Minnesota House has said before that if he schedules a vote, it’s a signal that he has the votes necessary to pass the bill. Looks very auspicious.

  13. rmthunter says:

    They tried, but never got the votes. See my comment on your post about Brady.

  14. rmthunter says:

    Small point of fact: Rhode Island legalized same-sex marriage last Thursday, not two weeks ago.

  15. BeccaM says:

    Word is Minnesota might be next, although the vote will be very close if it succeeds.

    The simmering fight over same-sex marriage spilled into the open Monday, as both sides erupted in a final, frantic push on an issue that has divided the State Capitol for months.

    Several Republican legislators who have spent years trying to defend marriage as a union between one man and one woman said they are coming to believe that gay marriage could soon be legal under DFL* legislative control.

    “Is it inevitable? I’d say probably,” said Rep. Michael Beard, R-Shakopee. “I mean, marriage is what it is, but they are redefining words and redefining meanings that have been in use for centuries because it is the cause of the week, the flavor of the month.”

    Legislators are possibly days away from voting on a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage — a vote expected to be one of the closest of the year. With two weeks left in the legislative session, the shrinking number of undecided legislators is rapidly running out of time to take a stand on an issue that could have grave re-election consequences.

    The vote is scheduled for Thursday in the Minnesota House. Their Senate has already passed the bill and the governor promised to sign it if the bill makes it to his desk.

    Now is the time to let those legislators know how you feel, folks.

  16. Jim Olson says:

    Let’s hope that the SC obviates the need for all of this, and strikes down the state and federal DOMAs in one fell swoop. It probably won’t happen, but a girl can dream!

  17. d3clark says:

    YESSSSS! Now if Minnesota follows suit, Mr. and Mrs, Bachmanniac may just MELT.

  18. Bill_Perdue says:

    Terrific. Lets make it mean something by demanding that Congressional Democrats repeal Bill Clintons DOMA.

  19. Hue-Man says:

    What I find most amazing is that state legislatures have enacted these laws. The Canadian process is more understandable – the senior court’s opinion in one province finds hetero-marriage-only unconstitutional and senior court justices in other provinces agree with the legal logic until it becomes a national reality. Politicians of any stripe rarely have the same logical tendencies and rarely can they be rounded up to act together!

    I suspect that people in Delaware and every other state have lobbied hard for each vote, working against inertia, anti-gay religious interests, and conservative hate groups. It doesn’t get any easier as the equality opponents have turned up the hate-meter to 11 (even as they realize that they’re going down fast).


  20. Eric Bohlman says:

    What do you have against those of us from Illinois? Sure, our General Assembly is dragging its feet, but I’m sure they’ll come to their senses before the CA decision comes out.

  21. jomicur says:

    Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic!

  22. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    For any Minnesotans out there: Minnesotans United are calling for donations. Pro-equality churches are contacting their congregations to attend a faith based meeting for Wednesday night. They are also urging their congregations to be at the capital during the vote. The word is that a vote in the senate is almost assured of being a pro-equality vote.

  23. Jim Olson says:

    Related, but probably not the only reason, is that Mr. Brady’s wife is quite ill. I think if she had not been, he would have fought to stay on.

  24. Hurray for Delaware!! Minnesota may be next. And next month California may rejoin the fold. Have to count with fingers and toes now!

  25. FLL says:

    That’s a nasty surprise. I thought the GOP party chair had been fending off his opponents inside the party effectively enough until now.

  26. Mark_in_MN says:

    And the Minnesota House of Representatives has scheduled a vote on the marriage equality bill for Thursday. Leaders have long said they wouldn’t schedule a vote until they had the votes. There is hope.

  27. 2patricius2 says:

    Senator Kirk, Republican, supports marriage equality.

  28. pappyvet says:

    Great news !

  29. Phil says:

    I don’t think that’s the last we heard about the Pat Brady debacle. It’s the neanderthals that were behind that – what do the reality based republicans plan to do about it?

  30. They just overthrew the GOP party chair there, because he supported gay marriage. I’m going to write about that for the morning.

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