But This One Goes to … Eleven.

I know, I’m late in writing about this, but I can only complain or cheer about one thing on a given day, so things might get backed up.  Actually, today there are two.  First, the Delaware State Senate passed a bill to allow same sex marriage, making it the eleventh state to do so.

“It’s a great day in Delaware,” said Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, who signed it within minutes of passage before an overjoyed crowd of activists. “I am signing this bill now because I do not intend to make any of you wait one moment longer.”

Same-sex couples will be eligible for marriage licenses on July 1.

During three hours of emotional debate before the vote Tuesday, State Senator Karen Peterson, a Democrat, said she had lived with a female partner for 24 years, and she challenged opponents of extending marriage to gay couples. “If my happiness somehow demeans or diminishes your marriage, then you need to work on your marriage,” she said, eliciting cheers and laughter.

Looks like New Jersey is beginning to get outflanked, even if they do extend equivalent rights to same sex couples through civil unions.  No all we need is Pennsylvania to get into the game and I think Jersey will have to switch over just by default … kind of like city allegiances change in Civ 4.  In the meantime, I guess I’ll have to settle for Minnesota, which is fighting for the title of State Number 12:

Gay rights advocates in Minnesota believe they’ve locked up enough votes in the state legislature to legalize same sex marriage ahead of a scheduled House vote Thursday.

“Thursday’s vote in the Minnesota House of Representatives will be a historic victory for thousands of same-sex couples and families in our state,” Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United For All Families, said in a statement Tuesday. “We are confident that the necessary votes to extend the freedom to marry for same-sex couples have been secured and that HF1054 will pass the House floor.”

Now, it still has to pass the House and the Senate, so it’s not a guarantee, but advocates are pretty confident it will get through both chambers.  House Speaker Paul Thissen said that the process of getting the votes hasn’t exactly been difficult and that it’s mostly been a matter of getting legislators to “listen to their hearts”.

I think if it does pass, we’ll all be able to listen to Michelle Bachmann’s head explode.  I have to admit I’m kind of looking forward to that.

One last note:  these steps forward were made possible in part by donors within the GOP who are working to provide support to politicians who support same sex marriage:

American Unity PAC was formed last year to lend financial support to Republicans who bucked the party’s longstanding opposition to gay marriage. Its founders are launching a new lobbying organization, American Unity Fund, and already have spent more than $250,000 in Minnesota, where the Legislature could vote on the issue as early as next week.

The group has spent $500,000 on lobbying since last month, including efforts in Rhode Island, Delaware, Indiana, West Virginia and Utah.

Nice to see that those within the party who don’t want to pander to the religious right now have other options in order to stand a chance during election season.

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