Delaware Lawmakers to Propose Ban on Gay Marriage

( [email protected] ) Mar 09, 2004 09:44 AM EST

In Delaware, lawmakers are trying to propose to ban gay marriage. When the General Assembly resumes meeting March 16, Senate Minority Leader John C. Still III, R-Dover, said yesterday that he would introduce legislation to amend Delaware’s constitution defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The amendment would invalidate all other gay marriage licenses issued in other states.

Although there is the state law already passed 1996 barring the state from recognizing homosexual marriages from other states Sen. Still said constitutional amendment against homosexual marriage was needed to prevent judges from allowing it.

"Marriage is the foundation of our society, and has always been between one man and one woman," Sen. Still said.

"We must do everything we can to preserve the institution of marriage. Amending the Delaware constitution is the best way to do that."

The Delaware Family Foundation praised Sen. Still for proposing the amendment, which the group feels is key to protecting marriage.

Kathleen Melonakos, the group's chairwoman, said: "This amendment is necessary because we now have anti-democratic judges and lawless officials in other parts of the country trying to redefine marriage without the consent of the people and against their best judgment and common sense.”

On the other hand in New Jersey another homosexual marriage was performed following the footsteps of Oregon, New York, and San Francisco yesterday. It was a ceremony of one gay couple attended by about 10 people in Asbury park.

City Clerk Dawn Tomek, who issued the marriage license, said New Jersey is one of the 12 states that have no statue explicitly banning homosexual marriages and that nothing in state law defines marriage as the exclusive province of opposite-sex couples.

Asbury Park officials reported that there are six other applicants for same-sex weddings pending.

Recent moves in the debate over gay marriage issue have been dramatic as both the supporters and opponents of gay marriage are boldly taking action to either support or ban homosexual marriage.

In Seattle, admitting that he lacks the authority to issue same-sex marriage licenses, Mayor Greg Nickels has issued an executive order telling the city to recognize the weddings of its own municipal employees who are gay and who have been married elsewhere.

Then Monday, six gay couples from the Seattle area filed suit seeking the right to get married. They had applied for marriage licenses at the county administration building in Seattle, but were turned away because of a state law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Following is the latest development on the homosexual marriage issue according to the Associated Press:

* A New York state judge barred New Paltz's mayor from performing more same-sex marriages for a month, saying Jason West was ignoring his oath of office. West said he'd abide by the judge's decision while "considering legal options."

* Lawyers for San Francisco answered efforts to invalidate thousands of same-sex marriages by telling the state Supreme Court that nothing in California's constitution requires local officials to obey laws they believe are unconstitutional.

* A coalition sued to block same-sex marriages in Oregon's Multnomah County, two days after officials sanctioned the practice and issued more than 700 licenses.

* The Wisconsin Assembly approved a proposed amendment to the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriages or civil unions. The proposal must pass both houses of the Legislature twice and be approved by voters before it can take effect.

* The Kansas House backed a proposed amendment banning gay marriages and benefits that associate marriage to other relationships. The measure now goes to the Senate, which could put it before voters in November.

* The Idaho Senate failed to bring a proposed amendment to ban gay marriages out of committee, likely ending its chances of going to voters this November. A state law banning gay marriage passed in 1996.