Central Delaware
Same-sex marriage bill heads to Delaware Senate

DOVER - A state Senate committee has sent a bill authorizing same-sex marriage in Delaware to the full Senate for consideration.

The measure cleared the Senate executive committee Wednesday after a 90-minute hearing.

The bill narrowly won passage in the House last week. Supporters and opponents expect another close vote in the Senate.

Gov. Jack Markell supports the measure, which was introduced barely a year after the state began recognizing same-sex civil unions. It would make Delaware the 10th state to authorize same-sex marriage.

Under the proposal, no new civil unions would be performed after July 1, and existing civil unions would be converted to marriages.

Supporters say couples in same-sex relationships deserve the same dignity and respect afforded to married couples.

Opponents argue that same-sex marriage redefines and destroys that institution.