Rhode Island and Delaware Advance Gay Marriage Bills to State Senates

gay wedding marriageHere comes the same-sex marriage legislation bride, all dressed in whiiiiiiite. On the heels of France becoming the 14th nation to legalize gay marriage, Rhode Island and Delaware took a few more steps down the aisle towards becoming the 10th and 11th states to embrace marriage equality.

Rhode Island’s Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-4 yesterday to send its gay marriage bill to the full Senate, where a vote is expected as early as today. The House of Representatives easily passed the bill in January, though the Senate is expected to be a tougher battle. However, the Republican Senate Caucus’ five members have announced their support and Governor Lincoln Chafee is already on board.

So if and when Rhode Island passes the bill, a double rainbow will sprout all over New England as every state in the region will have legal same-sex marriage.

Meanwhile, Delaware’s House of Representatives also voted yesterday, 23-18, sending its gay marriage bill to the Senate where Democrats hold a majority. On Tuesday’s vote, though, five Democrats voted against the measure while one Republican voted in favor. Last August, Governor Jack Markell predicted gay marriage would be legal by 2013 and has promised that he will sign the bill into law.

Under the proposed law, no new civil unions would be performed in Delaware after July 1, and existing civil unions would be converted to marriages. Also, a single (but dating) rainbow will sprout over Delaware and nearby gay marriage havens, Maryland and Washington D.C.