May 7, 2013 at 6:00 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Delaware Senate to vote on marriage bill
Matt Denn, Equality Delaware, Delaware, gay news, Washington Blade, gay marriage, same sex marriage, marriage equality, HB 75, marriage equality

Delaware Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Delaware Senate on Tuesday is expected to vote on a bill that would allow same-sex marriage in the First State.

Nine of the state’s 21 senators have either co-sponsored House Bill 75 or publicly backed it. Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson (R-Milford,) Senate Minority Whip Gregory Lavelle (R-Sharpley) and state Sens. Colin Bonini (R-Dover,) Gerald Hocker (R-Ocean View,) David Lawson (D-Marydel,) Ernie Lopez (R-Lewes) and Brian Pettyjohn (R-Georgetown) have said they will vote against the measure.

Lieutenant Gov. Matt Denn, who supports marriage rights for same-sex couples, would cast the deciding vote in the Senate if the HB 75 vote is a tie.

“I am confident we will have the votes to pass marriage equality in Delaware,” Equality Delaware President Lisa Goodman told the Washington Blade late last week.

Neighboring Maryland is among the nine states and D.C. in which gays and lesbians can legally marry.

Rhode Island’s same-sex marriage law that Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed last Thursday will take effect on Aug. 1.

Gov. Jack Markell has said he would sign Delaware’s same-sex marriage bill into law if lawmakers approve it.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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