By a 12-9 vote (what an adorably small Senate that is) the state Senate of Delaware yesterday approved a bill legalizing same sex marriage.
The House had already passed the bill and Gov. Jack Markell signed it into law 30 minutes later on the stairs of the lobby of the legislative building stating that “Delaware should be, is and will be, a welcoming place to live, love and raise a family for all who call our great state home.”
The new law, repeals a previous law specifically banning same-sex marriage. It also provides a mechanism for converting the state’s existing “civil unions” (which had been legalized in 2011) into “marriages.”
“Sen. Karen Peterson, one of the bill’s sponsors, said opponents’ arguments are rooted in the notion that being gay or lesbian is a choice but that she cannot remember when she chose to love another woman.
Peterson came out publicly for the first time on the Senate floor during debate, referencing her 24-year relationship with her partner.
‘Neither of us chose to be gay, any more than heterosexual people chose to be straight,’ Peterson said. ‘Nobody gets to make those decisions any more than we decide to be tall, short, black or white. We are what God made us. We don’t need to be fixed. We’re not broken.’
Drawing laughter from the gallery, Peterson added, ‘If my happiness somehow demeans or diminishes your marriage, then you need to work on your marriage.’