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Gay marriage: Is Delaware next?

Delaware legislators proposed marriage equality legislation today, saying that they expect gay marriage to be legal in Delaware by June.


Gov. Jack Markell (D) of Delaware speaks in support of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in his state, April 11 in Wilmington, Del.

Kyle Grantham / The News Journal / AP

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Delaware lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state, with plans to have it signed into law by the end of June.

The legislation, which the governor has pledged to sign if passed by lawmakers, was filed a little more than a year after Delaware first began recognizing same-sex civil unions.

Critics of the civil union legislation warned at the time that it was simply a precursor to same-sex marriage in Delaware, which could soon join nine other states that have legalized gay marriage.

Gov. Jack Markell and Attorney General Beau Biden, both Democrats, joined lawmakers and other proponents Thursday to express their support of the bill.

"The department I run, the Department of Justice, is fully committed to correcting an injustice," Biden said.

The governor said the bill is about the most basic of individual rights, "the pursuit of happiness."

"It's time that we do the right thing," Markell said.

The bill has more than 20 co-sponsors, including one Republican, Rep. Michael Ramone of Newark. It will be heard by the House Administration Committee, chaired by Democratic Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, on Wednesday.


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