Delaware Passes Civil Unions Bill

The "First State" Governor says he will sign the bill into law

Out neighbor to the South – Delaware – is the most recent state to move toward equality for same-sex couples when it passed its civil union bill this week. Just last night, the House of Representatives voted in favor of legalizing civil unions in the First State. Last week, the proposal also passed the Senate. Now it goes to Gov. Jack Markell’s desk – a staunch supporter of gay rights – who says he will sign it into law.

In an audio clip of the final vote, cheers can be heard when the bill passed at approximately 7 p.m. yesterday. The vote – 26 to 15 – went in favor of civil unions, which would grant same-sex couples many of the same rights at straight, married couples in the Democrat-controlled state.

The Delaware Civil Unions and Equality Act of 2011 (or Senate Bill 30) was sponsored by Sen. David Sokola and Rep. Melanie George. Gay rights group Equality Delaware has been campaigning for the bill since last year.