Dover, Delaware — Just days after Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed into law a bill legalizing homosexual marriage in the state, the state of Delaware has followed in its footsteps.
In a close vote of 12 to 9, the Delaware Senate approved the bill on Tuesday, but not after much argument surrounding the issue.
“If my pursuit of happiness somehow demeans or diminishes your marriage, then you need to work on your marriage,” said Democratic Senator Karen Peterson, who has been in a homosexual relationship for 24 years.
Republican Senator Greg Lavelle stated that he found it “strange” that the nation had come to a place where Americans “have to defend [the] traditional marriage that we have known for thousands of years.”
“We won’t fully understand the impact of this legislation for years to come,” he warned those present.
Other Senators stated that they were concerned that if the bill became law, religious business owners would be forced to accommodate homosexual “marriage” in violation of their faith.
Following passage of the legislation, under an hour later, Governor Jack Markell hastily signed his name to the measure.
“It’s a great day in Delaware,” said he declared to those present, which included a number of homosexuals. “I am signing this bill now because I do not intend to make any of you wait one moment longer.”
In doing so, Delaware became the 11th state to legalize same-sex “marriage,” most of which have done so via the legislature rather than at the voting booth. Over 30 states have a constitutional amendment on the books enshrining marriage as being solely between a man and a woman.
Homosexual marriage remains a significant issue across the nation this year as the United States Supreme Court is poised to release a decision regarding two lawsuits challenging the institution of marriage next month. As previously reported, the nine justices on the court are pondering matters pertaining to California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
During oral argument in March, Justice Anthony Kennedy expressed concern with whether the federal government even has the right to rule on the issue.
“The question is,” he asserted, “whether or not the federal government … has the authority to regulate marriage.”
“[DOMA] has 1,100 laws, which in our society means that the federal government is intertwined with the citizens’ day-to-day life, you are at real risk of running in conflict with what has always been thought to be the essence of the state police power, which is to regulate marriage, divorce, custody,” he continued.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor likewise questioned where the line would be drawn if the court approved of same-sex “marriage.”
“If you say that marriage is a fundamental right, what state restrictions could ever exist?” she inquired. “Meaning, what state restrictions with respect to the number of people, with respect to the incest laws, the mother and child, assuming that they are the age — I can accept that the state has probably an overbearing interest on protecting a child until they’re of age to marry, but what’s left?”
Licenses will be issued in Delaware beginning on July 1.