Seven of the twenty-one Delaware state senators have made it clear that they will not vote for same-sex marriage when the bill comes up for a vote next week. Nevertheless, supporters for the bill have said that they believe that it will pass.
Aides for Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson, Senate Minority Whip Gregory Lavelle, and state Senators Colin Bonini, Gerald Hocker, David Lawson, Ernie Lopez and Brian Pettyjohn have announced they will vote ‘no’. All are Republicans, so this is not surprising.
The eighth Republican of the twenty-one state senators, Catherine Cloutier, is still undecided.
In total, there needs to be eleven of the twenty-one state senators to vote for the measure in order for it to pass. There are thirteen Democrats and eight Republicans. In addition to Cloutier, Senators Bruce Ennis, Bethany Hall-Long, Robert Marshall, and Robert Venables have not announced their position on the bill.
Hall-Long and Marshall voted in favor of civil unions, and Ennis and Venables voted against it.
Currently, Senate President Pro Tempore Patricia Blevins along with Senate Majority Leader David McBride, and Senators Margaret Rose Henry, Harris McDowell, Nicole Poore, David Sokola, Bryan Townsend, Karen Peterson, and Brian Bushweller all back the measure.
This means that there are currently 9 in favor, 7 opposed and 5 undecided. Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn would cast the deciding vote in the Senate if there is a tie.
Sokola stated this past Wednesday that “I consider same-sex marriage to be an important step towards equal justice under the law in Delaware and in the United States of America.” Equality Delaware President Lisa Goodman stated on Thursday “I am confident we will have the votes to pass marriage equality in Delaware.”
Rhode Island recently joined the ranks of states to legalize same-sex marriage.