Apr 142013

Regardless of which may be the judgment of the Supreme Court in two cases related to equal marriageexamines currentlythe movement in favour of the right of couples of the same sex to marry unstoppable continues its advance State-by-State. This week has been Delaware, which has started the parliamentary procedure of a Bill in this regard, having all the ballots to be approved.

The project was presented last Thursday and has the express support of the leaders of the two legislative chambers, in democratic hands, and Governor Jack Markell, who personally is a staunch supporter of the idea, which returned to insist in his inauguration speech on 15 January. Markell involvement seems to have been decisive in the acceleration of the project. "When in 2011 I signed the civil unions law, not supposed that we would return on the subject quickly. But when their defenders came to my at the beginning of this year and told me that it was time, I replied: "say that the time has come and I'm happy to put me at your side '"It said. Delaware, in effect, approved in 2011 a law of civil unions between people of the same sex who recognizes them rights similar to the marriages of the scope of the State.

In the case of Delaware, in addition, the success of the referendum held in November by the Maryland neighborState with which it shares much of its border, helps reinforce the expectations. It also plays to please the fact that Vice President Joe Biden, strongly linked to Delaware (has been Senator for this small State on the East Coast for six terms) now is a strong supporter of equal marriage.

The footsteps of Illinois, Minnesota and Rhode Island

Delaware thus joins Illinois, Minnesota and Rhode Island, three other States in which has begun the processing of equal marriage laws.In Illinois the project has already been approved by the Senate and by the Executive Committee of the House of representatives and is now only waiting for the vote in plenary in the latter, where supporters of LGBT equality are working to make sure the most before taking it to a vote. In Minnesota, two committees in the Senate and the House of representatives of the State, have given its approval to the project, which has already been waiting to be voted in plenary. It's a State, recall, in November rejected in referendumby 51.3% compared to 47.6%, modify its Constitution to ban equal marriage, which by the time the State law does not allow.

In Rhode Island, the only State in the region of New England, which has not yet approved that law, the House of representatives It has already given its supportvery majority, to the project. The proceedings in the Senate, however,It could take weeks or even months. A delay which has its reasons: the vote in that Chamber is expected to be very tight, due to the presence of a significant number of conservative Democrats (including his own President Paiva Weed), although everything points to that as they will be accumulating favorable decisions in other States or even the Supreme Court they will be harder to resist.

We should not forget, finally, that the matter remains on the table in New Jersey, where everything points to the discussion will be reactivated Despite the veto of the Republican Governor, Christopher Christie, to the law passed more than one year ago by the State legislature. They are glimpsed two alternatives: the lifting of the veto, possible up to January 2014 (it would take the votes of several Republicans, but Democratic lawmakers appear willing to try, perhaps before summer), or in the worst case a referendum in November.

Important movement in Nevada

Worth noting what happened in Nevada, where a State Senate Committee It has given its approval to a proposal for constitutional reform that it would eliminate the prohibition of egalitarian marriage that was incorporated in the referendum to the Constitution of the State in 2002. It's a long-distance proposal, since it must be approved in two consecutive legislative periods before going to referendum in November 2016, but the mere fact that starts the path is already a step forward.

In 2009, Nevada passed a law on couples in fact open to the same sex. It did likewise despite opposition from then-Governor Jim Gibbons, forcing them to gather the two-thirds majority needed to lift the veto. An undoubtedly positive precedent.

Envoy Flick