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.