Delaware Non-Discrimination Bill Dies

14 05 2009

All my exes may live in Delaware, but they can’t tell anyone we’ve been dating.

On the back of the rest of New England going wild for gays and their wacky marriages, a Delaware State Senate Committee voted down a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in that state, thus killing it in committee. I feel a special sort of affinity for the hard-working LGBTQ community there (well, I don’t think the “T” was covered here); they’ve been trying just as long to see equal protections put into law in their state, and met with just as many disappointments, as Ohio.

It’s sad, really, and, despite our view of Delaware being far more progressive than us lowly Midwesterners, it’s amazing to hear the opposition talk even there:

Those who testified against the bill claimed it would violate the First Amendment, facilitate the legalization of same-sex marriages and lead to homosexuality being taught in public schools.

Austin R. Nimocks, a lawyer with the Alliance Defense Fund, said the bill would conflict with the constitutionally protected right of religions freedom, and that such legislation opens the door for permitting gay marriage.

“It’s used as a legal sword to uphold same-sex marriage,” Nimocks told the committee.

Nicole Theis, head of the Delaware Family Policy Council, also spoke in opposition to the bill, but said her argument was not meant to disparage homosexuals.

“We believe all people are made in the image of god,” she said. “We do not believe House Bill 5 is about human worth. We do believe it is a matter of public policy that will impact education.

“It’s a matter of deep concern that an eight-year-old child will be taught that a homosexual lifestyle is just as acceptable as a heterosexual lifestyle.”

See? Fear tactics work just about everywhere.

However, there is hope. After the Senate Committee pulled this same bit last year, supporters rallied to make changes to the rules of the legislative body that would spring bills out of committee if a petition were signed by a majority of Senators (they would need 11). One of the supporters of the bill, Sen. David P. Sokola (D-Newark), is circulating this petition, now.

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