The Delaware state Senate has passed the Civil Unions bill with a vote of 13 to 6 – with two senators absent. SB 30, was introduced by Senator David Sokola and Representative Melanie George. The bill would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions, giving them all of the rights, benefits and obligations of marriage under state law. However, it will not allow same-sex couples the ability to obtain marriage licenses, and religious institutions can choose to not solemnize civil unions.
The approval came after the Senate defeated two hostile amendments: the first would have forced a state referendum on the issue, and the second amendment called for expanding the measure to include opposite-sex couples.
The measure now goes to the state House for consideration – Governor Markell has said he will sign the measure if it makes it to his desk.
The Senators voting against the bill were: Colin Bonini, Joe Booth, Bruce Ennis, Dave Lawson, Gary Simpson and Robert Venables. Two Senators were absent.