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Victory in Delaware & Rhode Island

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By Matt Baume

We’re celebrating some major victories with week, with two more states about to gain the freedom to marry. Civil unions begin in Colorado, and voters appear ready to upgrade that to marriage. Plus, legislation advances in Pennsylvania and Nevada.

With a victory in the Senate last week, Rhode Island is set to become the next state with marriage equality. One more procedural vote in the House is all that’s left, and then the bill goes to Governor Lincoln Chaffee, who has pledged his signature. Marriage would begin there on August First.

Not to be outdone, Delaware’s House of Representatives also passed a marriage bill. Now it’s on to the Senate, where the Executive Committee is scheduled to hear testimony on Wednesday of this week. The vote there could be close. Visit EqualityDelaware.com to follow the progress and get involved. If passed, marriages would begin on July First, making Delware and Rhode Island the tenth and eleventh states with marriage.

Across the country, civil unions will start in Colorado on May First. The Office of the Clerk in Denver will be open at midnight to start processing forms. A new survey from Public Policy Polling shows support for civil unions at 50% to 38% opposed. And support for full marriage equality in Colorado stands at 51% to 43%. Among voters under 30, support is at 74 to 17.

Civil unions may also be coming to Pennsylvania. Democratic Representative Mark Cohen from Philadelphia has introduced a House Bill to recognize gay and lesbian couples in PA.

And a marriage has advanced in Nevada, but it still has a long way to go. The state Senate passed the bill, which would repeal a constitutional ban on marriage. It must now pass again in 2015 and go before voters in 2016. A 2012 survey from Public Policy Polling shows support for marriage at 47% to 42% opposed.

In international news, lawmakers in Colombia have rejected a marriage bill. This means that the country will likely start recognizing civil unions in mid-June to comply with a Supreme Court ruling. And a civil unions bill is now headed to parliamentary discussion this summer in Malta.

Meanwhile we’re closer than ever to resolution on the Prop 8 and DOMA cases. Subscribe here on YouTube and at AFER.org for breaking news alerts and to find out how you can help support the cause of equality for all.

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