August 3, 2012 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Del. guv courts gay Dems
Jack Markell, gay news, Washington Blade

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell was among nearly a dozen elected officials who attended a Rehoboth Beach fundraiser on July 28 for the Delaware Stonewall Democrats. (Photo by Molly Keresztury via Wikimedia)

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell; Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden; and U.S. Rep. John Carney (D-Del.), the state’s sole member of the U.S. House, were among nearly a dozen elected officials who attended a Rehoboth Beach fundraiser on July 28 for the Delaware Stonewall Democrats.

Markell and Biden praised the group for playing a key role, along with the statewide LGBT group Equality Delaware, in successfully lobbying the legislature last year for a civil unions bill that Markell signed into law.

“I think a marriage equality bill is inevitable in Delaware and my guess is it will be fairly soon,” Markell told the Blade at the fundraiser, which was held at Mariachi Restaurant located near the Rehoboth boardwalk.

“I don’t know for sure it will happen in this next session but I don’t think it’s far off,” he said in discussing a state same-sex marriage bill. “And it’s something that I would support.”

Biden told those attending the event that he and his parents were deeply moved earlier this year when the Biden family watched Vice President Biden declare his support for same-sex marriage on the Sunday morning news show “Meet the Press.”

Noting that his father’s interview on the program was taped two days in advance, Beau Biden said he, his wife and their two children and his mom and dad gathered in the living room of the vice president’s house in Washington to watch the program together.

“That Sunday morning when you were all watching ‘Meet the Press,’ I was sitting there with my mom and my dad,” he said. “I watched my dad and I watched him watching and my mom watching. But even more than that, I watched my kids watching us watch this,” said Beau Biden.

“I have an eight year old and a seven year old, who know their dad and their grandpop watch the news a bunch,” he told the crowd, which was listening in silence. “And they knew something was going on because at the end of the interview we all had tears in our eyes — my mom and my dad, my mom and I. And they asked me what was going on.

“And I tried to explain to them why what my dad said was so meaningful to me and to my mom … But to me what it means and I think what it meant to them was I’m not going to have to explain to them anymore as they get older why their parents’ friends can’t get married.”

Biden joined Markell in expressing support for a same-sex marriage bill in Delaware.

Others attending the fundraiser were three out gay candidates running for state offices — Mitch Crane, who is running for the statewide office of insurance commissioner; Andy Staton, who’s running for a seat in the State Senate from the Rehoboth area; and Marie Mayor, who’s running for a State House of Representatives seat in the area of Milton, Del.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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