Brian Bushweller A Yes For HB 75

Filed in Delaware by on April 25, 2013

Steve Newton, Delaware Libertarian, just forwarded me this info.  Thanks, Steve!

April 25, 2013

Dear Constituent,

Thank you for contacting me about HB 75, the bill that would provide for same-sex, civil marriage in Delaware.  I appreciate your sharing your views on this important matter.

As you may know, HB 75 passed the House of Representatives on April 23 and will now come to the Senate for consideration.  When the roll is called in the Senate, I will be voting yes.

I have come to this decision after considerable thought and reflection and after having met with or spoken with scores of constituents on both sides of the issue.  Included among them were religious leaders of many faiths, some of whom encouraged support for HB 75 and others who encouraged opposition.  In addition to those with whom I have actually met or spoke, I have heard from literally hundreds of other constituents, also on both sides of the issue, who contacted me by email, regular mail or phone message.

Underlying my decision to vote yes is my belief that the time has come for Delawareans to fully recognize the legitimacy and dignity of the long term, stable, committed and loving relationships of same sex couples as we do of opposite sex couples in the same kind of relationships.  To do otherwise is to engage in unjustified and damaging discrimination that is inconsistent with the values and principles of our democratic society.

I have reached this decision after lengthy consideration of the positions and arguments of opponents of the bill.  Most notable among them is concern that civil marriage will somehow undermine the institutions of marriage and family here in Delaware.  Many of the opponents cited their belief that children need a mother and a father to grow, prosper and develop to their full potential.  They believe this cannot occur in a family with same sex parents.  This argument is particularly meaningful to me because I fundamentally believe that strong families are the foundation of our society.  I also believe that the institution of the family is under extreme pressure and that we, as a society, must do all we can to support and encourage strong families.  Too many children are growing up in households with little semblance of family at all and even less ability to provide a stable and nurturing home.

Where I disagree with the opponents of HB 75 is that I believe same sex, civil marriage is not a threat to the family.  Rather, it can help strengthen the family.  As I stated when the General Assembly passed the civil union bill two years ago, to the extent we can encourage longevity, stability and commitment in relationships as described above, marriage and families will benefit.  We should be promoting these kinds of relationships, not denying them.

Many opponents believe same sex, civil marriage violates their religious principles.  I have met with several religious leaders who feel this way.  While I deeply respect their views, and even more so their right to believe as they wish, I also respect the views of other religious leaders with whom I have also met who believe that civil marriage is fully consistent with their religious principles.  There are sincere, thoughtful and knowledgeable people of faith on both sides of the issue.  I should note that the bill is explicit in assuring that all religions are free to choose which marriages they will solemnize, and religious societies, clergypersons and ministers of any religion will not be required to solemnize any marriage that does not conform to its religious beliefs.

One of the last aspects I considered in reaching my decision was the fact that, by and large, heterosexual marriage – one man, one woman – has been the dominant tradition in western civilization for a long time.  The question is whether the time has come for Delaware to embrace same sex, civil marriage through our civil law.  Recognizing that HB 75 has no impact on any religious denomination’s view of marriage and that it changes only state law in this regard, and in light of the other issues described above, I concluded that, in fact, the time has come to do this.

For all these reasons, I will vote yes on HB 75.  I do appreciate your contacting me about this issue and I hope you will continue to contact me about issues of concern in the future.

Sincerely,


Brian J. Bushweller

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About the Author ()

A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.

Comments (11)

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  1. McBride is confirmed as a yes. : Delaware Liberal | April 26, 2013
  1. anon says:

    I expected Senator Bushweller to be a “Yes,” he much more progressive than people think.

  2. Delaware Dem says:

    So this means the vote really comes down to Cathy Cloutier if Hall Long is gone.

  3. That is one helluva letter. One of the best I’ve ever read.

  4. Mike Bernard says:

    I appreciate Sen. Bushweller’s take on family, that we must do what we can to support strong families. He recognizes the fact that families take on forms other than the old, traditional mother/father/2.4 kids. Gay and lesbian families ought to be given the rights and responsibilities of full marriage like their straight counterparts. It’s about fairness, equality, and love.

    The blog “Joe My God” has some info about the standings so far and who to contact. See http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2013/04/delaware-senate-vote-looks-tight.html#disqus_thread for info.

  5. KrawenTownie says:

    Some of the most eloquent prose I’ve seen from an elected official on equality, and dare I say a very American statement that espouses the highest ideals of what this country has stood, should stand, and must stand for every single person. Put another way: “with liberty and justice for all.” Thank you Senator Bushweller. It really is that simple.

  6. Denise Roche says:

    Thank you to another elected official who approached the question thoughtfully and rationally.

  7. I have just heard from someone who had a nearly 30-minute conversation with Bethany Hall-Long that the Senator is confused as to why she is publicly listed as a NO vote on HB 75.

    Hall-Long said that she is waiting for polling to come back on the question of marriage equality legalization localized to her district. Hall-Long said that she would like to hear from people on this question, especially people from her district (or who live in the rest of Delaware).

    You can contact Hall-Long at:

    (302) 744-4286 or bethany.hall-long@state.de.us

  8. Geezer says:

    Professah: I’m confused as to why someone who has represented her constituents for the better part of a decade now needs to spend money on polling to tell her what to do.

  9. auntie dem says:

    Senator Bushweller is such a jewel. Thank you.

  10. Thank you Senator. You give us hope!

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