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Delaware Moves Towards Civil Unions, Should Be Moving Towards Marriage Rights For Gay Couples

April 8, 2011

Some might say of the actions this week in Delaware…one step at a time.  But as CP has stated before civil unions are not an acceptable compromise.  Nothing short of full marriage rights for gay Americans will be tolerated. 

As I penned in April 2007….

…I have likened civil unions to children sitting at a separate table during the holidays.  No matter how you slice it there is a difference between the two and no one really can argue the point successfully.  The same is true with gay civil unions versus the right of marriage for straight men and women.  There is only one way to get all the rights, benefits, and social recognition in a relationship and that is through the bonds of marriage. 

In February 2007 I wrote this…

I reject anything for gay Americans that fall short of the full and complete rights afforded all citizens. While I understand the argument of moving one step at a time with this idea to allow some parts of society to adapt to reality, I do not want to hear people talk, as I did today, of civil unions as a major victory. It is not. To even imply that there is something just about withholding the right to marry for gay couples is no better than saying blacks should sit in the back of the bus, or cannot enter into marriage with a white person. The complete and utter stupidity of such thinking cannot, and must not, go unchecked.

So the fight continues.

The First State became the eighth state to approve a bill that would grant same-sex couple the same rights as heterosexual married couples—and with that, seemingly out of nowhere, the Delaware Civil Union Bill has put the tiny state on the map as a force in the fight for gay rights.

The News Journal broke the news that the measure, sponsored by State Senator David Sokola of Newark, was approved on Thursday, April 7. Out of the 21 votes, 13 were for and 6 were against; 2 Senators abstained.

Although a triumph for civil rights, the state senate approval is just the first step on a road that no doubt will be met with opposite across the tiny, politically divided state. Before it goes into effect, the Delaware Civil Union measure must be approved by the majority Democrat state House of Representatives, then signed into law by Governor Jack Markell. On March 24, Governor Markell announced his support for the bill, in a stirring speech, saying that “in good conscience,” the state could not tell certain committed couples that they weren’t entitled to the same rights as others.

  1. April 11, 2011 9:37 PM

    I agree that LGBT people deserve full marriage equality, and I hope that day comes soon.

    However, I scratch my head at why legislatures are suggesting civil unions at this point — it leaves many progressive and moderate voters disappointed because civil unions are not the same as marriages. Any thoughts?

  2. April 10, 2011 9:12 PM

    Thanks Drew.

    I think any current efforts are on the back burner as Gov. Walker and the GOP majorities in both houses in Wisconsin can only move backwards in time.

  3. Drew permalink
    April 10, 2011 8:09 PM

    Mr. Rivers,
    I apologize if my comment seemed rather… obtuse. I didn’t mean it to sound snide in any remark. I admit that I had only just stumbled on your blog therefore hadn’t read much past this article. I was only hoping that in future articles about marriage equality, perhaps a little snippet as to the current efforts in Wisconsin.

  4. April 10, 2011 11:06 AM


    I have been VERY critical MANY, MANY times about not only what happened here in 2006, but why.

    No one can claim I was timid or quiet about the anti-gay vote here in the state. My blog is a record on this matter.

    Thanks for commenting, and forward together for marriage rights for gay Americans.

  5. Drew permalink
    April 10, 2011 8:24 AM

    If you’re going to comment on Delaware, I would hope you make a statement regarding your own state’s marriage laws and your current efforts thereof.

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