April 9, 2013
Marriage equality legislation is expected to be pre-filed in Delaware’s House of Representatives this Thursday, Delaware Online reported yesterday, before legislators return next week from a spring recess.
Representative Melanie George Smith, who led the successful effort to pass a civil unions bill in 2011, will spearhead the equal marriage legislation. Gov. Jack Markell, a supporter of marriage equality, has said he will sign the bill into law. He mentioned the push for equal marriage rights in his State of the State speech in January, saying that he wants a “Delaware that protects the rights of all its citizens, no matter whom they love.”
At an event at the University of Delaware Trabant yesterday afternoon, Markell told the crowd of 200 pro-marriage equality supporters that advocates needed to get involved in the legislative push. “It can happen in Delaware and it can happen this year,” he told them, “but it will only happen if you do your part to make it happen.
Late last month, Equality Delaware–the main organization in the state seeking to pass a marriage equality bill–announced it would be receiving a $50,000 matching gift challenge from Freedom to Marry. A few days earlier, DuPont, the Fortune 100 chemical company headquartered in Wilmington, issued a press release announcing its support of the proposed legislation. “DuPont is fully committed for the benefit of our employees and the community to working with Equality Delaware to support a marriage equality bill when it is introduced in the General Assembly this year,” Lydia Mallett, DuPont’s Human Resources Director, said in a statement.