A little over two years ago, almost everyone said it was crazy to think Delaware was ready for marriage equality, but the team of citizens at Delaware Right to Marry set to work anyway. With Netroots help in January 2011, we raised the money to conduct a poll which confirmed that Delawareans were in line with the national numbers that were just starting to show plurality and then majority support for same-gender marriage. Everything has developed rapidly since then here, as it has nationwide. Check out this news from yesterday in Delaware's News Journal. Jonathan Starkey reports:
It's been a while since we posted here, but with the victory in Maryland today and the near-victory in New Jersey, all eyes are on the Mid-Atlantic again, and it's time to get moving here in Delaware.
This afternoon, as I'm sure most of you have been, I’ve been watching Gov. Martin O’Malley sign the legislation to end marriage discrimination in the “Old Line State.” Here in the “First State” today, that scene is inspiring, but we’re feeling a lot less like the leaders we strive to be in the region.
Although we may be playing catch-up with our neighbors in Maryland, we’re determined not to be left behind much longer. In 2011, our legislature and the governor approved Civil Unions. We can do better and we're not willing to settle for less than full equality. That's why we have already drafted the "Civil Marriage Equality and Religious Freedom Act of 2013."
In 2012, with all the seats up for re-election after redistricting, we have an opportunity to make a huge difference in the composition of next year’s legislature. Yesterday I met with one of the strong pro-marriage equality candidates we'll likely be backing, and I got a good sense of the situation. The bad news is that the redistricting puts the seats of some supporters in play, and we'll need to defend them. But the good news is that we have some great pickup opportunities by strong supporters, too!
The best news is that Delaware’s not an expensive state for local politics. If just twenty of you make donations of $30 today, we’ll be able to fully assist one of our pro-equality candidates who are committing to make marriage equality a priority next year. Any amount can make a difference in Delaware.
The momentum is on our side. If you can, please help keep the ball rolling in the Mid-Atlantic by financially supporting Delaware Right to Marry PAC today. Our hardworking, all-volunteer staff ensures your money goes straight into our campaign. This is a people-powered effort, and we’re counting on people like you. If you can't spare a contribution, keep spreading the word.
I will do my best to answer any questions on strategy, progress, or anything else that I can address, in the comments section below. It's good to be back here!
Delaware Right to Marry PAC
This past Thursday, the Delaware State Senate voted 13-6 (plus 2 absent) in favor of S.B. 30, Delaware's first civil unions bill, sending it over to the House. Our organization, Delaware Right to Marry, has not been involved with that effort, since we were campaigning earlier this year for a full marriage equality bill. To the present, we have remained strictly neutral on the bill. The main group backing S.B. 30, Equality Delaware, has made the case repeatedly that they are pursuing civil unions in their own right and on their own merits, while the opposition (mostly the Focus on the Family-affiliated 'Delaware Family Policy Council') has tried to claim the bill is a stalking horse for gay marriage in the near future. Therefore, because we are neither working for nor against S.B. 30, we did not want to let the equality opponents link us incorrectly to the effort as a means of harming the bill's chances. Our efforts remain entirely separate.
That said, regardless of our position on civil unions as an institution, it was clear from the Senate debate on Thursday ahead of the vote that all votes against civil unions were also votes against full equality down the road. As of Thursday night, we are officially treating all No votes on civil unions as hostile votes to our own objective.
Casual Wednesday has encouraged me to re-post yesterday's statement here from Delaware Right to Marry: "Let them know there is no backing down for want of a vote or two in Maryland." With that in mind, the statement is posted below the fold.
And for those who missed our last diary, here are some of the results of the poll the netroots community helped us pay for. We found a 48% plurality of Delaware registered voters now favor marriage equality, with overwhelming support from young voters and Democrats in particular. It's a huge shift just in the last couple years, and the poll made waves in political circles here.
Hello again Kossacks!
Thanks again so much for your generous support last month, when you all raised over $2000 to help us fund our public opinion poll in the state of Delaware. We could not have done this poll as soon as we did without your help.
The news you've all been waiting for since then is below the fold!
Hello again, Kossacks! Once again, I'm Bill Humphrey, statewide director of Delaware Right to Marry PAC. If you didn't get a chance to read our first diary here, which explains what we're working on in the First State this coming year, feel free to check it out: "Help us bring marriage equality to Delaware."
I'm back again this week to ask you a simple (or complex, if it is for you) question: Why does marriage equality matter to you? We're collecting Delaware stories right now elsewhere, but we wanted to tap into this much broader community for stories and responses to that question, whether you are gay, straight, or something else. With the Delaware stories, we're going to show legislators why this is so important in Delaware, but we also want to be able to make comparisons and contrasts with experiences in other states. Details below the fold.
My name is Bill Humphrey, and I am the Statewide Director for Delaware Right to Marry PAC.
I first began reading Daily Kos regularly in the fall of 2007, and I registered (under my own handle, of course) in about December 2008. When our all-volunteer team began developing our strategy for spreading the word and raising money for our planned effort, the first online community I suggested we go to was right here. So for our introductory diary at Daily Kos, I want to let you know a bit about our effort and how you can help us bring marriage equality to one more state in the coming year. Join me below the fold!
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