Just minutes before the Delaware Senate was set to vote on its marriage equality bill, a Democrat senator who had been quiet about how she would vote announced on her Facebook page that she would vote yes. The announcement by Senator Bethany Hall-Long, who represents Dover, the state capital, came just minutes after the city’s other Democratic senator, Karen Peterson, came out as gay on the floor during debate.
The final roll call vote, after three hours of debate, was 12 to 9, with the gallery erupting into loud and prolonged applause. The twelve supporters included one Republican; the nine opponents included two Democrats.
Just minutes later, Democratic Governor Jack Markell signed the bill, making Delaware the eleventh state plus the District of Columbia to provide for equal protection under its marriage laws. Meanwhile, a Minnesota House Ways and Means Committee gave the marriage equality bill there a green light Monday, and the House floor is scheduled to vote on the measure Thursday (May 9). Democratic Governor Mark Dayton is lobbying actively for the measure.