Pregaming the Senate vote on Marriage Equality

Filed in National by on April 23, 2013

Here were the Senate votes on SB 30, the Civil Union Bill, back in 2010.

The lone Senate Republican voting in favor of Civil Unions, Liane Sorenson, retired. She was essentially replaced by Republican Ernie Lopez as her district moved south in redistricting. Lopez has indicated that he will vote no, and he really has to to placate his rabid and enraged Tea Party base who are still smarting over his votes for Death Penalty Repeal and for Background checks. Bunting retired, and was replaced by Senator Hocker, who has to be a no vote. Katz was defeated by Lavelle. I am not sure how “gettable” Lavelle is. He was considered gettable during the Death Penalty repeal and Background check votes. He voted no on both. So I think it will be wishful thinking to put him as an unknown vote. I am considering him a no. Deluca was replaced by Townsend. Senator Townsend has made past statements supportive of marriage equality, and he is a sponsor of the bill, so I am considering him a yes.

All of the Senate no votes on Civil Unions are still in the Senate. I am going to assume that all those who voted no for Civil Unions will also vote no for gay marriage, and going on the less logical assumption that all yes votes for civil unions is also a yes vote for gay marriage. I will list as unknown those who who I think are up for grabs.

So according to this chart, Marriage Equality has 11 votes, just enough for a majority. The no votes have 9. And one vote, that of Cathy Cloutier, is up for grabs. I would highly encourage everyone supportive of marriage equality in Delaware contact every single “yes” vote on that chart in addition to Cathy Cloutier. If Marriage is to be won in the Senate, it will be at best a 12-9 vote or a 11-10 vote. So every single yes vote needs to be shored up and Cloutier needs to hear it. Click here for their contact info.

In terms of sponsors and co-sponsors of the bill in the Senate, Senators Blevins, Sokola, Henry, McDowell, Peterson, Poore, and Townsend all are sponsoring HB75. Thus, I would assume they are all solid yes votes. That leaves Bushweller, Hall Long, McBride, and Marshall as possibly shaky Dem yes votes. So they need to hear from us.

UPDATE: based on the comments and information from sources, I have updated the chart. It all comes down to Bushweller.

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  1. Delaware Senate Vote Looks Tight | April 25, 2013
  2. McBride is confirmed as a yes. : Delaware Liberal | April 26, 2013
  1. KrawenTownie says:

    I thought I read that Poore is a co-sponsor. Did I misread that?

  2. Delaware Dem says:

    She is a co-sponsor. Thanks for the heads up, Krawen. I missed that. So let me edit this story.

  3. Ezra Temko says:

    I would say the more firm yes’s on your list are the ones co-sponsoring HB 75: Blevins, Henry, McDowell, Peterson, Poore, Sokola, Townsend

    Senator Hall-Long has not yet declared how she will vote.

  4. Delaware Dem says:

    Editor’s note: I left Booth in the Senate in the chart. In reality, he was defeated in the primary by Bodenweiser, and then Bodenweiser was indicted on child rape charges, and was replaced on the ballot by Pettyjohn, who won and thus replaced Booth in the Senate. Either way, he is a no vote.

  5. Anon says:

    Seems more appropriate to substitute Senator Pettyjohn’s name in for former Senator Booth’s. For multiple reasons. Do tech difficulties prevent that?

  6. Delaware Dem says:

    It just requires making a new chart and publishing it to an image server and then editing this story. But I’m in bed now so ill do it in the morning. Booth can enjoy one more night in the Senate.

  7. CR says:

    One would surmise that if Sen. McBride (and family) is hosting multi-tens of thousands of dollars fundraisers at his house with the Governor in support of marriage equality he’s probably a safe yes.

    To another point — I think the House vote today showed that civil unions votes can’t be counted on automatically to show up in favor of marriage equality.

  8. Dell says:

    Thank you so much for this information. This blog is wonderful. I would appreciate hearing if there is a likely date on which this gets a vote in the Senate.

    My thoughts:

    - While I agree with CR that a civil union vote cannot be counted as an automatic yes vote on marriage, we can’t ignore the fact that the governor and the leadership also know how to conduct a head count. It is unlikely they would have all gathered together for a high profile launch if they didn’t feel confident in getting the minimum number of votes to pass. That doesn’t mean it is in the bag or that we shouldnt’ contact the senators listed above, but it is not as though allocating the CU yes votes to the yes side is just a wild optimistic guess.

    - I find the 4 Dem no votes in the House and the 2 no votes in the Senate to be disheartening. And I don’t think these votes occur purely out of personal conviction. There is a reason that Sen. Lopez feels compelled to placate the GOP base, but Rep. Jacques and Potter easily disregard Dem primary voters. There is an absence of fear. Either Delaware progressives lack the motivation or the ability to end the careers of some of these people, but something is missing and that is why Rep. Jacques doesn’t fear us. I think we need to pick one or two of these people and boot them, even if marriage passes. Call it instructional, call it a punitive measure for a discriminatory vote, or call it an investment in future clout, but there needs to be a response to this. Of course, if it fails to pass, there will be a massive focus from national forces on defeating the no votes, and that effort would start with the turncoat Dems.

  9. Delaware Dem says:

    Anon, the chart is fixed. Joe Booth is once again not a Senator.

  10. There are NOT 11 firm votes for marriage equality in the Senate yet. Might not even be 10.

    Bethany Hall-Long has confided to Leg Hall insiders that her Millsboro (or is that Seaford?) daddy will disown her if she votes for the bill, and she has no intention of being disowned. So, she has a choice: Her constituents or her daddy. BTW, I’m not making this up.

    I don’t think that Lopez is yet a firm no. I was told that he came into the House Chamber to listen to part of yesterday’s debate. He’s got a strong marriage equality constituency in his district.

    I think that, if Cathy Cloutier votes her conscience (AND her district), she votes yes. She has recently shown some signs of not being fearful of making key votes, she’s done what I consider the ‘right’ thing on progressive legislation, and I hope that her constituents let her know that they will be behind her 100% should she vote yes. I intend to get in touch with her today.

  11. Delaware Dem says:

    What is with Delaware Legislators and their childish reasons for voting. First Jaques and his petulance, and now Hall Long and her Daddy issues. Both should resign if this is really how they do their jobs.

  12. heragain says:

    Del Dem, that’s not fair. If it’s okay for people to vote yes if they’re contacted by loved ones, then it’s okay for them to vote no for equally silly reasons.

    We elect people. We could have direct democracy via decent sorting algorithms, in which case we’d have a much more convenient number for pi.

    Someone oughta get down and lobby her dad, is all. ;)

  13. Delaware Dem says:

    It’s perfectly fair. She is an adult. She is a legislator elected to represent her constituents. She has sworn to uphold the Constituion. You mean to tell me it is unfair to criticize her for voting against something because it might upset her father? Really? That’s what unfair about this situation?

  14. She is free to toss her constituents under the bus if her heart really belongs to daddy.

    Her constituents are then free to toss her under the electoral bus. In fact, they should if she votes for her hater Millsboro Daddy instead of, say, for her UD constituents.

  15. Delaware Dem says:

    I am hearing from sources that Hall Long is a firm no. If that is the case, and her reasons are as you stated, then she becomes an instant Deluca-like target.

  16. puck says:

    Looks like 100% legal vote-buying. But the ethical offensiveness is off the charts. If she votes no, the question becomes what other votes will Daddy influence. There is probably no legal remedy, so intense mockery is in order.

    It is a tough personal situation though, so I sympathize somewhat.

  17. Well, there IS one remedy. If she wants to represent Daddy, then she can move down there, get elected, and vote as Daddy tells her to.

  18. puck says:

    Not doubting you El Som, but this rumor needs more corraboration (so as not to get burned on it). If that comes about, it is a pretty big story.

  19. anon says:

    Lopez is a “no” vote and not to placate his nutty constituents, but because that’s where he’s been since the election. He did sit in on the House debate, though.

    BHL from what I hear is a “no” and I’ve also heard it’s because of her father. What a shame because he doesn’t live in her District, and the District he does live in is tea party central and those bastards wouldn’t even bother to piss on a Democrat like her if she was running around on fire.

    Cloutier is a “yes” vote unless she pulls her usual disappearing act. Can we take odds on that?

  20. PluribusUnum says:

    Has BHL said she’s a no? The vaguely (not vaguely?) sexist comments on this post however are a real testament to your dedication to equality.

  21. anon says:

    If the Senator was Bob Hall Long and he was going to vote against a bill because of his Daddy would you expect the comments to be different? I wouldn’t. Sexist? Hardly.

  22. Delaware Dem says:

    Sexist? If Hall Long were a man and I would still be making the same complaint.

  23. PluribusUnum says:

    Sure you would… and using the word, “Daddy”? I doubt it. It’s pejorative and you know it.

    “Daddy issues” – when has one ever used that to talk about a man?

    You can make your arguments without falling back on sexist tripe.

  24. Delaware Dem says:

    Plenty of men have daddy issues and or mommy issues. Plenty of men are referred to as Momma’s boy. All of it is not sexist.

  25. anon says:

    PU Representative/Preacher Tim Dukes has Daddy issues, too. His Daddy, Dale Dukes, has been sitting behind him on the House floor for support. I guess Timmy’s Daddy wants to make sure that teh gay doesn’t rub off on his lil Timmy.

  26. It is BH-L, not I, who has confided to colleagues that she dare not go against her father.

    So, if you think that the term ‘daddy issues’ is offensive, then think up another term to define a senator who will go against her constituents b/c her gay-hatin’ daddy just won’t love her anymore if she doesn’t.

  27. geezer says:

    I get your point, PU, but nobody calls them “father issues.” It’s always referred to as “daddy issues” because it indicates an inability to outgrow the need for parental approval.

    Sometimes an insult is just an insult.

  28. PluribusUnum says:

    rabble rabble rabble. Alright, I’m done with my rant.

    And all of these “sources” don’t mean shit until we have the vote.

  29. liberalgeek says:

    I do love the purity tests… It reminds me of when I used to go to DelawarePolitics.

    Is this like the Mike Castle vote for cap and trade? You got an awesome progressive to run in Middletown that will garner enough votes to unseat BH-L? I know most of the active Dems in her district (and Jaques) and I suspect that you will be hard-pressed to get a “true progressive” (whatever that means) elected in the next 10 years.

    But do go on. I’d personally LOVE to see more progressives becoming politically active in the process.

  30. LG-Yes, that is possible in BH-L’s case. VERY possible.

  31. PluribusUnum says:

    LG: +1

  32. liberalgeek says:

    I only know of one PDD member in BH-L’s district (not counting my nascent membership).

  33. Delaware Dem says:

    Forget PDD for a second, Liberal Geek. Why do you think Jaques and Hall Long are above criticism on their alleged reasons for voting no on this issue? Hall Long’s reason for voting no is not because she is against marriage equality, and not because there is a church in her district who is against marriage equality, it is because her father wants her to vote no. Jaques’ reason is even more assine that that, if that’s possible, which I have just learned is false and will be writing about it shortly.

  34. liberalgeek says:

    Her Father is a Baptist (I think) preacher, not some gun-toting slack-jaw yokel. As I like to say, she comes by it honest. She has probably risked his wrath with her previous votes in the past 4 years.

    And you haven’t learned anything to falsify what I have said. What I have said is true and confirmed, validated and witnessed first-hand. I suspect you have received spin.

    I am not against calling them out for votes. Great, call ‘em out. But if they have cast 100 votes that meet your definition of progressive and 1 that doesn’t and you are calling for a primary challenge… You can expect me to start calling you the Don Ayotte of the left.

  35. Delaware Dem says:

    So long as I get to call you the Tom Carper of the left, oh wait, even HE is for Marriage Equality.

  36. liberalgeek says:

    eventually…

    And you just mischaracterized my position on this. I am for Marriage Equality.

    I would also ask you if their constituents are against it, should they “show leadership”? And if their constituents are for it, they should follow “the will of the people”? Do I have your stand on this correct?

  37. LG, you ask good questions, particularly as it pertains to ‘litmus test’ votes. My answer is, ‘It all depends.’

    I think that Jaques has taken a leadership role on lots of progressive legislation, so I certainly wouldn’t go to the barricades to oust him.

    BH-L recently voted against the death penalty repeal, she hasn’t sponsored what I would consider progressive legislation, and she has confided with her colleagues that she can’t go against her preacher daddy on marriage equality. That’s the perfect description of a Democratic senator–from central or western Sussex County.

    She has every RIGHT to cast any vote as she sees fit. However, IMHO, she shouldn’t expect a pass on this one–especially since her vote could either enable marriage equality to become law, or could defeat it.

    Yes, the circumstances are ironic, and the stakes are high. Which is why she’ll either side with her dad or with her constituents. And face the consequences.

  38. PluribusUnum says:

    What non-discrimination legislation has she not supported? She voted for HB 99, the civil union bill, etc.

    Threats and insults based on anonymous sources isn’t surprising coming from this blog, but it remains disappointing.

    Because Jacques sponsored some bullshit, nonsense single payer legislation, he gets a pass on marriage equality? So, it has nothing to do with equality, just that he has enough X’s on your totally subjective, bullshit Mother Jones report card?

    As Christopher Hitchens once said, if we gave you an enema, we could bury you in a matchbox.

  39. Geezer says:

    So, PU, given her past positions on similar issues, why is she voting no on this one? Or are you claiming that she will vote yes?

  40. PluribusUnum says:

    The historical record would lead me – and anyone without some previous axe to grind – to believe she will vote yes. Insulting, belittling, and threatening based on hearsay is bullshit. Unless I missed where she went on the record with her no or yes, then all of this is just noise.

  41. Geezer says:

    There’s a difference between not knowing what she’ll do and ignoring signs that she might lean one way or the other. In fact, the reason for the discussion is that rumors in Leg Hall — and certainly you understand that a blog reporting on politics is sometimes going to report on the rumors, not just official positions of politicians — indicate she might vote in a way that would surprise people who know her past positions.

    Also, it’s not as if she is the only one being discussed here. Far from people here having an ax to grind, you seem to be the one with a previous bias — pro-BHL in your case — who is unwilling to consider any information that contradicts your already-chosen position.

  42. realist says:

    Her father owns hundreds of acres of farmland worth millions of dollars. Unless her constituents are going to leave her their land when they die, cut her a break.

  43. I have no axe to grind with BH-L. And, at some point, the critical mass of informed Dover denizens passing along what she has said to those denizens passes from rumor to reality.

    My goal is simple and obvious: To try to persuade her to vote ‘yes’. In her case, I believe that the best approach is to remind her that votes have consequences.

    If you have what you believe to be better means of persuading her, by all means do it.

    And, Realist, if what you say is true, then you’re also saying that her vote is bought and paid for by daddy. ‘Cut her a break’? Really? In order to give her a free pass on an historically-important bill?

    Homey don’t play dat.

  44. Dave says:

    Just as a point of distinction – I would have defined Marriage Equality as the right of any two people of legal and consent age to get marriage. This particular bill is limited to those of the same gender.

    In Delaware first cousins can’t marry for example. Yeah, I know there are so few that it’s such a minor issue for a minority of people, but to me equality isn’t about how many people are being disenfranchised. It ought to be about whether everyone has the same rights. It’s nice that the bill helps out the LGBT community it seems to me that if Delaware wants equality, this particular anachronism really ought to be done away with as well.

    Here’s the first part of the DE Code on the subject: “ยง 101. Void and voidable marriages.

    (a) A marriage is prohibited and void between a person and his or her ancestor, descendant, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, first cousin or between persons of the same gender.”

    Seems to me that marriage equality would have eliminated some of these, especially where there is no possibly of a children (such as elderly couples). It is true that some of these categories have some legal rights anyway, but when it comes to health care, social security and the like if two family members want live cooperatively and share resources, who is society to say they can’t? I’m sure that’s road to far for most folks and as I said, it only affects a minority of people. So no big deal.

  45. realist says:

    Well then lets throw her to the wolves for disappointing you on one vote. You guys are never satified.
    Remember two weeks ago Simpson was you hero on the death penalty repeal, this week he is a coward on guns. Ernie was a hero on both, after his no vote you will attack him. Cant win with this group.

  46. Delaware Dem says:

    Realist, there is a difference. Simpson and Lopez are Republicans. When they vote our way, it is right to praise them. We usually don’t take time out to call them cowards when they oppose us, since it is assumed they oppose us since they are Republicans. But HB 35, the Background Check bill, was a special case.

    All of these comments bring up a salient point: she has not voted yet. She may yet confirm some people’s faith in her and vote yes. And I will be happy to admit I was wrong in preemptively criticizing her.

    If she votes no, then it will be a disappointment, especially if she votes no for the reason that is rumored and talked about. Whether she is “thrown to the wolves” in the form of a primary challenge depends entirely on her whole record and how she votes on other issues between now and 2014 or 2016 (I forget which year she is up again). So that also is a preemptive discussion.

    I should also note that the cases of Hall Long and Jaques are different because the latter was endorsed as a Progressive. So the disappointment there with Jaques is much more bitter. Hall Long has never been considered to be a Progressive. The bitterness I expressed at her, preemptively mind you, is the reason that she is allegedly going to vote no.

  47. Dale says:

    LG,

    In regard to going after Jacques and/or Hall Long, the issue isn’t whether either of these 2 can be replaced with a pure or better progressive. The issue is punishing them by ending their careers. That causes the entire Dem caucus to develop a newfound respect for progressive issues, whether or not the replacements for Jacques and H-L are better than, equal to, or worse than the current incumbents.

    You should all know that the national marriage equality movement has the resources and the will to come in and teach this lesson, regardless of whether local progressives like LG or “realist” like it or not. We have never been as flush with cash and volunteers and campaign expertise as we are right now. If you guys think that we are going to let this die because of one Democratic vote in one chamber, and not wreak havoc on those responsible, then you are smoking something.

  48. liberalgeek says:

    Dale – Just so that you know that that particular tactic is the same one that the tea-party has employed in Delaware, to Chris Coons’ benefit.

    As I have said with Jaques’ vote, it wasn’t necessary for passage. Why don’t you ask Dem leadership if they consider Jaques a threat to the progressive agenda because of this vote?

    Now, the situation is a little different with Sen. Hall-Long, in that the vote in the senate could very well come down to her. I haven’t spoken to her, but I would guess she envies Jaques’ margins. It could also be argued that BH-L’s district is more conservative than Jaques.

    Be that as it may, she is my state senator, and I will be calling her and asking her to vote for the bill.

    Also, ES said this:

    So, she has a choice: Her constituents or her daddy.

    Suppose that her constituents are actually not in favor of the bill, two birds with one stone?

    And it has also been previously stated that we should call our legislators and tell them that we have their back. This is exactly what the Marriage Equality folks said to these people 2 years ago when they said that they wouldn’t be coming back to the well. So I wonder what the expiration date is on having someone’s back…

  49. anotheranon says:

    @Liberalgeek

    I’ve seen you post the argument that there’s a frustration that they’re now pushing marriage equality after saying they “wouldn’t come back” after civil unions. I don’t see that as a realistic position for anyone to take or believe. Of course there’s going to be a vote on gay marriage in Delaware — it’s a state controlled by Democrats in both houses with a supportive governor. Who cares if this is a tough vote for them? We elect representatives to make tough votes. If they feel angry that they have to make that decision, then maybe they shouldn’t be in politics.

  50. liberalgeek says:

    What the legislators were told is that the next time they come back will be after the Feds finish their work. They were told that marriage wasn’t realistic in Delaware until after DOMA was gone.

    That wasn’t in 2008 or 2009. That was October 2012. When We had a Democratic Governor and Dems controlling both houses.

    This is a sure sign of not being an honest broker. If this was the liquor distribution lobby and they kept coming back for another helping after claiming 3 months previous that they were done with bills. Now imagine that the liquor distributors deny that they ever said that they were done.

    I support their goals, but not their tactics.

    I also understand that it’s hard to “get” the vote if you have no time for inside baseball.

  51. SussexAnon says:

    Yawn. Inside baseball whining.

    No one cares about process and politicians complaining.

    Marriage Equality is the right thing to do.

  52. liberalgeek says:

    I guess I get a little tired of sore winners.

  53. Delaware Dem says:

    Sore Winners? Earl Jaques is now on record for all time as being an opponent of marriage equality. He voted against it. That is his legacy. And in 50 years, he will look as craven as George Wallace and Strom Thurmond. If we are sore, it is because Earl Jaques’ legacy and reputation has been destroyed by his own petulance.

  54. cassandra_m says:

    This is a sure sign of not being an honest broker.

    How do you know this? Precisely?

    The right political atmosphere and coalitions to deal with issues sometimes don’t happen on schedule. It is an odd bit of business to be able to count on not having the face doing the right thing because you were promised a different timeline. Last year, I wouldn’t have believed that marriage equality was possible here, either. Circumstances changed fast — and yesterday, Rhode Island approved marriage equality. Last year, marriage equality was a failing idea. And the momentum that the idea has gotten has been incredible since then, but I genuinely do not get defending an effort to put the brakes on all of this momentum because everything was different last year.

  55. Dale says:

    LG:

    I honestly don’t know what you are talking about. Marriage equality advocates are very open and vocal about their view that civil unions do not constitute equality and that they are not acceptable as anything other than a temporary bridge to full marriage equality. So no one would tell Jacques or anyone else that we wouldn’t be “going back to the well” to seek full equality. As for when that effort would come, DOMA has nothing to do with it. DOMA doesn’t inhibit DE or any other state from recognizing same-sex marriage and marriage equality efforts have proceeded in many states even though DOMA is in effect. The one issue has nothing to do with the other.

    You might have noticed that in October 2012, our movement was conducting multiple, large and sophisticated campaigns to pass marriage equality in MD, ME, and WA. It beggars belief that, at that very same moment, DE advocates would tell Jacques or anyone else that they wouldn’t do anything until a court case concerning a federal statute was resolved at some unspecified date in the future. It is ridiculous.

    But BTW, even if it were true, that still wouldn’t be a reason to vote against gay DE families. If the advocates did make such an assurance and then reneged, then find some other way to penalize them in the sphere of politics. Cut them out of staff job openings or nix them from witness lists on future hearings or refuse to meet with their lobbyists. But you don’t vote down substantive legislation and hurt your constituents out of spite or retaliation.

  56. Thanks for posting this information!

    Would it be helpful for people to call/email Bushweller since he is the lone undecided/unknown vote at this time?

    I think it’s awesome that Cloutier is voting for marriage equality and would note that only one of the 6 women is against marriage equality, and that is the odious Hall-Long. Her, along with the other Democrats who are bucking their party on this vote (Venables and Ennis, I’m looking at YOU!) should feel the wrath of their constituents!

  57. Jay says:

    BRIAN BUSHWELLER GOES YES. He will support the bill.

  58. KrawenTownie says:

    LG: with all due respect, sore winners? Allowing for marked differences of course, do you mean like the sore winners of African Americans after the passage of the 14th Ammendment during the period of Jim Crow, and beyond? Or those sore female winners after the passage of the 19th Ammendment until, well, today in matters of equal pay and treatment? I get the desire to say “well this should do, we’ve allowed your little minority a modicum of rights, let’s see how that works for us for a few years, then maybe the next generation can deal with the rest of your little needs, at least to those of you who are around then.” I just completely reject it.

    Admittedly we’re a minority, but let me paint a little picture of what us sore winner gays look like after the state deigned to confer civil unions. I’ll even paint it in DOMA terms:

    My partner and I will be married this year. In DC. When we engaged, our nearest options were DC or New York. Maryland came too late, we quickly discovered you have to plan these events a year in advance. Delaware had civil unions, And even though it is my native state and our home, we said no. We said no because of our belief that separate but equal is just not true. We wanted to do this once, and do it right. While appreciative for the recognition, it just seemed wrong. Skim milk marriage, to quote Justice Ginsburg.

    We are doing this because we decided we couldn’t imagine spending our lives without each other. We also feel a need to protect and care for each other, in good times and bad.

    Now here’s what sore winners look like in Delaware as of today. Our state of domicile will recognize our legal marriage in DC as a civil union. Come tax time, we will pay an accountant to to do three tax returns. One as if we were married and DOMA didn’t exist. We will us that to file a joint Delaware return like all married couples. We will then have two more returns prepared as if we were each single, and will use that to file separate federal returns.

    Now lets say DOMA is struck down, but Delaware does not approve marriage equality, and stays with civil unions. Our out of state legal marriage is recognized as a civil union. It’s a little murky, but our accountant has advised that the end result is likely the same. We will prepare a dummy return as a married couple. We will then Prepare two more returns to file federally, since we live in Delaware and though legally married that doesn’t count in Delaware as anything other than a civil union. Therefore, Federally, we’re not married. Sure we could try to sue, and perhaps we would. If this scenario plays out I hope you’ll contribute to our legal fund. To use a crude analogy, we’re sore winners because we think having to drink from a different water fountain, metaphorically speaking, was not really quite the same thing as using the existing one. Particularly one that, through years of dominance, heterosexuals have made available to any opposite sex couples who’d like to drink from with just a quickie wedding by an Elvis impersonator in a Vegas wedding chapel.

    So I’m sorry if I don’t get all Oliver Twist over the leftover gruel and I’m demanding an equal meal. And I’m quite sorry little Jaques is offended. But the truth of the matter is that while all the rights and responsibilities are welcome, they’re only acceptable if they are the exact same ones that heterosexuals have spent 200 years ensuring were built into the law for themselves. Nothing more, nothing less.

    The final analysis though is easy: this is about love. We’re inviting people to our wedding. Our families are excited for our wedding. If not now, when? How many gay couples must live their lives as strangers to their husband and wives until you or Jaques says “okay fine, you can call it marriage.” How many older couples who have been together for decades before the law recognizes that their relationship as equal have to die before the law says that couple, and their commitment to each other, was just as valid and real to them as every other committed couple? When would be a good time for the state to say that? How many bittersweet victories must be won before this state upholds the ideals of the nation it was once first to affirm?

  59. Josh says:

    So if Sen. Hall-Long is from a progressive area and believes personally in equality, but is reportedly wary of actually voting for HB 75, would it be useful to encourage her to take a walk during the vote if she can’t bring herself to support it herself?

    Lt. Gov. could break a 10-10 tie, if need be, assuming Marshall, McBride, and all of those on record for the bill voted yes.

  60. Ned Flaherty says:

    Senator Bushweller published a letter on 25 April confirming his “yes” vote on civil marriage (http://www.delawareliberal.net/2013/04/25/brian-bushweller-a-yes-for-hb-75/#comment-343246).

    That brings the apparent tally to 11 for, 10 against. Time to update that roster!

  61. Mitch Crane says:

    The Lt. Governor in Delaware does not break ties on bill. “Taking a walk” or “Not voting” has the same effect as a vote of “No”. In order to pass a regular bill in the Senate you must have 11 “Yes” votes; 21 in the House.

  62. Professah, I have not seen Cloutier commit to voting for HB 75. I think that she KNOWS that it’s the right thing to do and that she empathizes with supporters, but I haven’t seen her commit to doing this. Do you have some information you can share? I’d be PROUD to give her major props for doing this.

    Re BH-L. As someone pointed out, she has not yet cast her vote. She IS in a difficult situation, and I’ve perhaps been guilty of minimizing that difficulty. She’s also very smart and can see what’s happening. I don’t number her as a lost cause yet. Neither should her constituents. Contact her, be friendly and positive, and ask for her support.

  63. anon says:

    Krawen being in a “minority” doesn’t mean you get fewer rights, the Constitution is there to protect the “one” from the “many.” We’re a country of laws, not mob rule.

  64. I could be wrong, Mitch, but I think a 10-10 tie can be broken by the LG. I remember senators who were PO’d with then-LG SB Woo engineering a roll call precisely so that he would have to break a 10-10 tie.

    The trick is getting to 10-10. If two people go not voting for example, it could be 10-9. In that case, the LG could not be #11. Only in the case of 10-10 ties does he get to cast the deciding vote…unless he doesn’t.

  65. Mitch Crane says:

    I am happy to say that I am wrong. Research, and I mean lots of it as this was harder to find than one would believe, shows that the Lt. Governor DOES have the power to break ties. That is a very good thing.

  66. anon says:

    Mitch no need for the Lt. Governor to break the tie if you just block the exits to the Senate Chamber so Cloutier can’t bolt!

  67. Josh says:

    So could the bill pass on a 10-9 vote or does it need 11 votes (with or without the LG)?

  68. Mitch Crane says:

    11 votes are needed for passage. Anything less is a defeat of a bill.

    Cathy Cloutier will do the right thing, I am sure.

  69. Kyle says:

    When does the senate vote for marriage equality?

  70. Assuming the bill is released from committee tom’w, it could be considered as early as Thursday. In fact, if Sen. Blevins believes the bill will have 11 votes, she will probably place it on Thursday’s agenda.

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