Though it may be the second smallest state in the Union and home to less than a million people, Delaware took a giant step towards equality this week when the House of Representatives voted 26-15 to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples. Having passed the state Senate last week and with the Governor’s pledge to sign the historic bill into law, Delaware is set to become the eighth state to grant civil unions.
Lisa Goodman, the president of Equality Delaware who worked closely with the Human Rights Campaign to support its passage, praised the vote. “There are a lot of happy people here,” she said. “We made Delaware a fairer and better place for same-sex couples and all families today.”
If that name doesn’t ring a bell, consider this.
For years Marinelli championed his anti-gay marriage views and worked closely with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), spreading intolerance and working to defeat proponents of gay marriage. Last year, he took his message on the road as part of a Summer for Marriage Tour.
“Whether it is an issue of disbelief, shame or embarrassment, the one thing that is for sure is that I have come to this point after several months of an internal conflict with myself. That conflict gradually tore away at me until recently when I was able to for the first time simply admit to myself that I do in fact support civil marriage equality.”
In calling for marriage rights for gay couples, Marinelli says the Constitution “calls for nothing less.”
Marinelli’s defection didn’t go unnoticed. Following his change of heart and mind, the National Organization for Marriage’s Facebook group lost 290,000 supporters.
It’s never too late to start over.