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Delaware senate to consider marriage equality bill Tuesday

Delaware senate to consider marriage equality bill Tuesday

DOVER, Del. — The Delaware state Senate on Tuesday will consider a marriage equality bill in a bid to make Delaware the the eleventh state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The scheduled vote in the state’s Democrat-controlled Senate follows the General Assembly’s passage of the bill late last month — its fate in the divided 21-member Senate chamber could be decided by a single lawmaker’s vote.

Governor Jack Markell has vowed to sign the bill into law if approved by the Senate.

Under the bill, no new civil unions would be performed in Delaware after July 1, and existing civil unions would be converted to marriages over the next year.

Supporters say the bill protects religious freedoms and the freedom of speech of those opposed to same-sex marriage.

The vote comes just days after Rhode Island became the tenth state to legalize same-sex marriage; the R.I. measure was signed into law on Thursday, just hours after a final vote in the state House.

Developing story, stay tuned for updates.

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