Delaware Governor Signs Civil-Union Bill Into Law
May 13, 2011 by Marty Rouse, National Field Director
May 11, 2011 is a day I won't soon forget. It is the day that Delaware became a state that recognizes LGBT couples under the law with the same state rights, protections and obligations as our heterosexual friends and family.
Over 600 Delawareans and their families gathered last night at World Cafe Live at The Queen to watch as Governor Jack Markell signed Civil Unions into law. To say that emotions ran high is an understatement. I was overwhelmed with happiness, love and pride as I watched so many families come together to celebrate this day. As I looked around the room it was clear to me that this day was a long time coming for so many loving couples and families in our great state.
As I stood along side of my partner of 15 years, Mac, and my mother, father and future mother-in-LAW, I thought about all of the work that so many great civil rights advocates before us had done to get us to this point. I also thought about the lives of those to come and how this law would affect them in so many great ways.
As a member of the HRC Greater Philadelphia Steering Committee and of the Equality Delaware Foundation Board I can say with certainty that the coalition of teams that came together to make this happen is the most dedicated, smartest and motivated group I have ever had the pleasure of working with. The Human Rights Campaign provided essential funding and human resources to Equality Delaware to draft the legislation and move the bill through the Senate and House and ultimately to the Governor's desk to sign. Sarah Warbelow, HRC's State Legislative Director, was a key ally to Equality Delaware and our local Steering Committee. I was pleased to represent the HRC Greater Philadelphia Steering Committee as these efforts unfolded.
All of us at the Human Rights Campaign Greater Philadelphia Steering Committee thank Delaware legislature and Governor Jack Markell for making Civil Unions a reality in Delaware. My personal thanks go to Lisa Goodman, the Equality Delaware Board Chair, for her outstanding leadership and for her inclusive approach to making Civil Unions a reality in Delaware.
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