Post submitted by Ryan Rowe, HRC Senior Field Organizer
Earlier this week, NAACP President Ben Jealous visited Dover to speak before the Delaware Senate and House of Representatives in favor of bills for voting rights, death penalty repeal, and marriage equality. From the floor of the Delaware Senate, President Jealous stated:
From the death penalty, to voting rights, to marriage equality, this chamber is working on great civil rights issues. You are poised to be a national leader among states seeking progressive reforms. I look forward to continuing to work with you.
This past Wednesday, Delaware NAACP State President Richard “Mouse” Smith and Delaware NAACP Religious Affairs Chair and Black Clergy Consortium President Rev. Dr. Donald Morton testified in favor of the marriage equality legislation that later passed out of a House committee buy an bipartisan 4-1 vote. Testifying before the committee, Rev. Dr. Morton said:
We are more than a one-issue community, and we represent many different religious views, but what we all recognize is the fundamental value of the law of the land applying equally to all citizens. Members of this honored committee, it is time for full civil marriage equality in Delaware, and I implore each of you to pass this bill out of your committee and take no part in denying justice, to any of God’s children, any longer.
HRC’s partnership with the NAACP continues to grow in all areas of the country in states like North Carolina, Maryland, Washington, Minnesota, and Illinois, strengthening intersectional relationships and working towards marriage equality and other LGBT priorities within local social justice coalitions.
HRC has had staff on the ground in Delaware since January working with the Equality Delaware and the Delaware NAACP to grow the coalition around HB75 as well as faith outreach strategies across communities of race, denomination, and faith.
Equality Delaware and NAACP national and state leaders working together at Delaware’s State Legislature. (L to R) Ryan Rowe, HRC Senior Field Organizer, Mark Purpura, Equality DE Board Chair, Lisa Goodman, Equality DE President, Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President, Richard “Mouse” Smith, DE NAACP President
Author Ryan Rowe was the Director of Faith Outreach and NAACP liaison for NC’s Amendment One campaign and the NAACP Outreach Director for the Marylanders for Marriage Equality campaign. He currently oversees the national partnership between HRC and the NAACP and continues to advance HRC’s work in Delaware, Illinois and other states to build and support partnerships at the intersection of faith communities, civil rights organization and LGBT equality.