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Civil Union Bill Approved by DE General Assembly

Yesterday, the Delaware House voted 26 to 15 to pass a bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions and attain some of the same benefits enjoyed by married couples, such as the right to visit a partner in the hospital and the right to make decisions about the partner’s medical care. The bill would not, however, allow same sex couples to obtain marriage licenses. The Delaware Senate passed the bill last week, and the governor is expected to sign the civil union bill into law.

Lisa Goodman, president of Equality Delaware, stated “We are tremendously proud that the Delaware House has passed civil union legislation. The fact that the Delaware General Assembly passed civil union legislation on the first attempt is a great testament to how far public opinion has come ion equality issues.”

Currently, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington DC allow marriage of same-sex couples. Six states, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii allow same-sex couples to form civil unions or domestic partnerships, which carry some of the legal benefits of marriage.

Sources:

CNN 4/15/11; Statement of the Human Rights Campaign 4/14/11; Equality Delaware Website 4/13/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/23/11

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