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Multiple Marriage Equality Bills Near Vote

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By Matt Baume

More positive polling this week, as yet another US Senator comes out for marriage equality. We have some major action quickly approaching in state legislatures. All that plus a huge international shake-up, with access to marriage set to expand in at least three countries.

It seems like every week there’s another round of polls showing more support than ever for the freedom to marry. This week, it’s an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll with 53% in favor and 42% opposed. This is an increase of two percentage points just since December. In addition, 56% said that marriage equality should be determined federally, instead of from state to state.

Also in national news, South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson has joined the 53 other U.S. senators who support marriage equality. This leaves just three Senate Democrats who have not endorsed.

And there’s major action coming soon in multiple states. This week Delaware introduced a marriage equality bill. Lawmakers expect to pass the measure, which has widespread support, by June of this year.

We’re also close to a vote on a marriage bill in Rhode Island. Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed told reporters that she expects a vote before the end of this month. It could come as early as next Monday, when lawmakers return from spring break.

Marriage equality made significant international advances this week as well. The French Senate has approved a marriage bill. It now must undergo a few more procedural votes, but at this point its passage is almost completely assured.

Uruguay is similarly situated: this week lawmakers approved a marriage bill there. It now goes to President Jose Mujica for his signature, which he has pledged.

And debate starts in Colombia this week, with the Senate there scheduled to weigh a marriage bill on Wednesday. A deadline to pass a bill is fast approaching. Two years ago, the country’s Constitutional Court gave lawmakers a deadline of June, 2013 to approve marriage legislation. If a bill is not approved in the next two months, the country will be automatically required to begin recognizing gay and lesbian unions.

In addition to these advances internationally and in the states, we’re just weeks away from the deadline for the US Supreme Court to rule on the Prop 8 case. 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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