A Dark Day In Delaware – Updates On HB5 and SB27

Posted: 03/27/2009 by that's Elbert in Delaware, liberal, marriage, society
Tags: , , , , ,

Thursday was a dark day for families in Delaware. It would seem that the overcast skies predicted the day’s outcome.

The Delaware Senate took up a bill that would add protection for marriage to the state constitution. This was Senate Bill 27, introduced by Sen. Bob Venables (D – Laurel). Quoting from the Delaware Politics’ Twitter feed, here is some stuff from the floor during the debate:

Sen. Peterson asks if the bill would ban remarriage because it says “one man and one woman.” (link)

Venables responds with quip about anyone of normal intelligence would know the answer. Debate is getting heated. (link)

SB27 needed to pass with a three-fifths majority. It ended up being defeated, 9 for, 11 against, and 1 abstained. Those that supported the amendment were Senators Adams, Bonini, Bunting, Cook, DeLuca, Ennis, Marshall, Simpson and Venables. Those against the amendment were Senators Blevins, Bushweller, Cloutier, Connor, Henry, Katz, McBride, McDowell, Peterson, Sokola and Sorenson. Senator Hall-Long chose not to vote.

House Bill 5 was debated then brought to a vote. This bill would add “sexual orientation” to the list of things against which you cannot discriminate, such as race, age, and sex. Unfortunately it passed 26 for and 14 against.

At Delaware Family Policy Council’s Marriage Rally, somewhere between 1000 and 1500 people were present, and as Chris Theis reported on Twitter, “Ring around the building and many around podium”. The News Journal reported on the rally (incorrectly identifying it as a demostration):

More than 1,000 demonstrators wearing white T-shirts bearing the slogan “One Man, One Woman — That’s Marriage” rallied on the steps of Legislative Hall, demonstrating both against HB 5 and for SB 27.

The opponents were disappointed in their twin losses, but promised to be a political force to be reckoned with.

“I represent a constituency that was never engaged before,” said Nicole Theis, head of the Delaware Family Policy Council.

“We’ve taken note” of how legislators cast their votes today, Theis said.

One more thing from Twitter (with some editing by yours truly), designated as the “quote of the day“:

“I apologize to you Senators, we didn’t check you out last November. We gonna check you out good next time.” – Rev. Wallace

Yes we will.

  1. I highly disagree. I think it was a move towards tolerance and for equality. Same Sex Marriage is already illegal in Delaware, it is pointless to make it into an amendment.

    I really don’t want to get into a huge debate on this, again.

  2. The statement “move towards tolerance” suggests that we are in an era of intolerance. I have to wonder why a disagreement with a political stance becomes intolerance. If that is true, then intolerance exists on both sides of the issue, as those that would support HB5 and oppose SB27 disagree with those of us on the other side of this issue. They are then intolerant of any opposing views.

    If intolerance is hatred, then in my opinion it comes from some supporters of HB5 and opposers of SB27. Do you notice how quickly the debate turns into name-calling? It quickly becomes “You’re a bigot” or “You’re a homophobe”, which I perceive then becomes a way to end the debate. “I’ve got nothing else to say, just that you’re bad.”

    If homosexuals wish to live that way, then they have that choice. These laws don’t say they cannot live that way. I don’t agree with that lifestyle but I am not in favor of laws that affirm that behavior or prohibit that behavior. Currently that is the situation.

    I realize we are on different sides on this issue, but I also know that you can at least talk about it, yet still trade cordial emails. I like that.

  3. Corey Murphy says:

    Another great point was made at the rally “It has taken this event to bring us together…we’ve been asleep for to long.”

    It was inspiring to see all the churches come together. Shame on any church that has decided to take the low road and sit this one out. I used to think churches should stick to ministering the gospel and stay out of politics. However, I soon realized that if we stay quiet then we won’t be able to preach the gospel without a lawsuit of discrimination. We can’t be silent on the issues that affect our public policy.

  4. You are right, and recently I have been guilty of pointless name calling in this area as well.

    There are some lifestyles I don’t agree with, and I don’t discriminate against them. I don’t see the need to constantly bear down on this certain group of people because you don’t agree with their lifestyle.

    I have a couple of reasons why it strikes me wrong. One, the repression for mainly religious reasons strikes me as crossing the line separating the church and state. In a way you are imposing your religious beliefs on people who don’t believe them.

    Second, you are restricting someone else’s personal freedom because you don’t like what they do, even though it has zero side effects on anyone. I know the whole “family” argument, and I know the reasons people think that way. I just don’t follow the logic and don’t see how anyone’s family is affected. It is more of a proxy argument for the offense at the word “marriage,” which you equate with their religion.

    The whole counter argument against same sex marriage strikes against those two core Libertarian beliefs that I hold dear, and whether I agree with the lifestyle or not, I have to defend it.

  5. Chris Theis says:

    The lesson from yesterday is that those who agree with the traditional view of marriage will not be intimidated by the demonization tactic used by the other side. We have a right to voice our views in the public square like everyone else and now we have a record of where DE officials stand on these issues. One more thing for the record, this rally was in support of marriage nothing else.

    • Sean James says:

      While I agree 100% with your and Nicole’s stance on this issue you must have known Delawares official stance on these type of issues. Unfortunately we in Sussex county are outnumbered by the libs in New Castle county. Not to mention you can not get people in Sussex county to turn out to vote. Delaware is a blue blue state and anything that comes out of the legislator that does not assault our christian views should be considered a blessing. Until the average person gets tired of paying for the massive waste in this state we will continue to elect libs like Markell.

      We in the GOP have many issues we need to resolve.

  6. “I apologize to you Senators, we didn’t check you out last November. We gonna check you out good next time.” – Rev. Wallace

    Yes we will.

    Sorry, but the majority of this state’s population is above the canal. Even the Republicans up here are progressive on social issues, as evidenced by their votes on both SB 27 and HB 5.

    Per the Supreme Court of the United States of America, Senate and House seats in Delaware must be apportioned by population. So, until about 300,000 people of your same mode of thinking move up here and shift the dynamic then, I’m sorry, but there’s nothing that can be done here. Two-thirds of the state’s population resides above the canal. Issues like abortion and same-sex marriage are, quite frankly, non-issues to us. Live and let live.

    Thank goodness we have senators and representatives who use the Constitution as their moral compass for this nation and not The Bible.

  7. […] disappointment at yesterday’s equal rights outcomes in both the Senate and the House. Here’s that post. I was particularly intrigued by one Twitterized comment (from a twit?)that Elbert highlighted from […]

  8. The necessary wording to uphold marriage between one man and one woman is the part that keeps getting overlooked.

    It should be something to the effect of:

    Section 1: Marriage in the United States, whether entered into within or outside of the United States, shall consist only of the legal union of one man and one woman. Every person has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, subject to state laws based on age and consanguinity. Neither the United States nor any State, or subdivision thereof, shall confer any benefit, protection, right, or responsibility of marriage on unmarried couples, or groups.

    Section 2: This article shall be self-executing, and citizens of the United States shall have standing to seek enforcement of this article in federal and state courts.

    Section 3. Upon approval by Congress, this amendment shall be ratified if approved by convention in three-quarters of the states within a period not to exceed four years.


    This would prevent false unions, domestic partnerships, and the rest of the nonsense that is generally an emotionally regurgitated button response.

    As far as the sexual orientation part, the first query would be: Sexual orientation to what? since the recipient of this mysterious form of “love” is not mentioned.

    There is also the trouble of creating infinite classes of special groups to not discriminate against. What about not discriminating on the basis of weight, economic status, etc?

    Is is quite intriguing that “sexual orientation” has been lumped in with biological unchanging human characteristics like race, age, sex, etc.

    Yet homosexuality is a behavior, like hanging tinsel, and in fact is a sexual and mental disorder as the A.P.A. rationally found not so long ago.

  9. Smith says:

    The Senators and Representatives who voted for HB 5 and against SB 27 yesterday clearly do not have a moral compass, and I’m not sure they have even read the Constitution. A person’s sexual orientaiton is not protected w/in the Constitution, however my religious liberties are. Like it or not, the Constitution provides freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. Our forefathers are rolling in their graves over this. What is there to be “tolerant” of? Sexual orientation, unlike race, color, national origin, age, disability, etc. is a choice. A person can’t choose to be white, black, hispanic, or asian, they can’t choose to be disabled or not disabled, but they do get to choose their “sexual orientation.” Looks like we are now in the business of protecting people’s “choices,” regardless of the effects on society. For the proponents of HB 5, offending those who beleive marriage is defined as one man and one woman is ok, but offend one homosexual and it is called intolerance. That surely seems “progressive.”

  10. Mike Matthews, thanks for stopping by.

    You wrote: “Thank goodness we have senators and representatives who use the Constitution as their moral compass for this nation and not The Bible.

    I agree with Smith, seriously doubting that most of our elected officials have even bothered to read the US Constitution. I doubt the Delaware State Constitution has been read either.

    Did anybody know the Delaware State Constitution preamble started like this:

    Through Divine goodness, all men have by nature the rights of worshiping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences…

    How dare those men make any reference to someone that is worshipped.

  11. Precisely, Elbert.

  12. Like it or not, the Constitution provides freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.

    OMFG. What the hell.

    How can one be free to practice their religion without the freedom FROM another’s religion.

    The whole point of the freedom of religion thing was not to have a state sponsored religion, like the Church of England. Legislating your religion does exactly what the forefathers wanted to protect us against.

  13. Chris Theis says:

    HB5 is a bad bill because it directly affects religious liberties. Court cases in other states that have this type of law confirm that the homosexual agenda is not to “live and let live” as Mike says. They are trying to intimidate the public into “accepting their lifestyle” or suffer the consequences. Business owners like Elaine Photography in New Mexico are being sued for refusing to photograph same-sex weddings, (she even referred the couple to another equally good photographer who would do the job) now she faces court costs and fines. Pastors in England are being put in jail for speaking against the lifestyle in the pulpit. A church in New Jersey is being sued by a same-sex couple because they wanted to use the churches outside pavillion for a civil union ceremony, because the pavillion is deemed(a public accomodation) and because NJ has a law identical to HB5 they will probably lose. Lastly, what most people overlook in this debate is education. A couple in Massachusetts was taken before a judge and threatened with jail time for wanting to “opt out” of same-sex marriage indoctrination in a kindergarten class. We need to do some research here folks and stop just chaulking this up as “you mean haters are opposed to gay rights”. This has far reaching concerns. As for New Castle Co., there was just as many people from above the canal as Kent or Sussex on Thursday at the rally. Interest on these issues has been overwhelming upstate.

  14. Brian, you wrote: The whole point of the freedom of religion thing was not to have a state sponsored religion, like the Church of England. Legislating your religion does exactly what the forefathers wanted to protect us against.

    You’ll find it interesting that the Federal government was constitutionally forbidden to sponsor an “official” religion, understood at that time as a denomination of Christian faith. Apparently the states were not, because apparently the state of Maryland had a state-sponsored church until the early 1800’s. I always thought that was wild. It wasn’t the right thing to do, but it was done at the time. As soon as I find the supporting documents, I will post them on the blog.

  15. Bunni Casey says:

    This is a dark day for Delaware and for the vision our founding Fathers had when they set the framework for this nation. Sanctioning homosexuality through our government is one of the MAJOR reasons we who are Bible-believing-Christians must get on our faces and repent on behalf of our beloved country. Our government is not only shaking its fist at God’s ways, but spitting in our Creator’s face by declaring that men with men and women with women is equal with His having made us different colors or genders.

    Except we repent for having become a pornographic nation that allows the most helpless among us to have their little arms and legs pulled off everyday without even the benefit of anesthesia (aka–abortion) and actively portrays every kind of perversion as natural and desirable behavior, I fear we are going to see our country sink more and more into lawlessness and chaos.

    And should our leaders be foolish enough to totally abandon Israel, persisting in pressuring her to hand over her land to those who drool at the very thought of her destruction, the United States of America’s days will be numbered. The God she has outlawed will let her have her way.

    As Westerners in particular, we have believed the lie we can do anything we please whenever we please with whomever we please and that OUR rights are more important than responsibility and sacrifice for the greater good. What selfishness! Such disdain for our soldiers who have given their all so we can live free from tryanny! Spoiled brats never do men or women of character make.

    By the way, just in case anyone strongly disagreeing with me decides to point out how horrificly Christians have treated them in the past, please know this–a REAL Christian (one who has realized HE HIMSELF is a sinner, turned from his sin to the cross where Jesus died in his place, believed Jesus rose from the dead to give him eternal life, and now openly and gratefully acknowledges Jesus as his Lord)–that person never treated you harshly. The ones who hurt you masqueraded as follwers of the Lord, but never submitted to his Word or Lordship. I’m sorry that happened to you.

    Those who say they love God and hate homosexuals are no more true Christians than woodstoves are air-conditioners. When a person has seen the depths of his own sin, he ceases to hate those still trapped by it, but longs to see them freed from its clutches.

    Some things to think about.

  16. I have wracked my brains over this question: What do the added law book words “sexual orientation” mean specifically?


  17. Rich Boucher says:

    “House Bill 5 was debated then brought to a vote. This bill would add “sexual orientation” to the list of things against which you cannot discriminate, such as race, age, and sex. Unfortunately it passed 26 for and 14 against.”


    It is fortunate, not *unfortunate*, that House Bill 5 passed.