Yesterday, Delaware’s Senate Administration and Elections Committee approved a bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter civil unions that grant all of the same state benefits and obligations of marriage. The measure, which will receive a vote on the Senate floor in the coming days, passed unopposed as the committee’s two Republicans did not take positions on the bill and few elected Republicans have publicly denounced it. The majority of the opposition is being organized by the Delaware Family Policy Council.
Advocates on the ground tell ThinkProgress that the group has conducted a push poll campaign, from a D.C. number, relentlessly bombarding the state with messages about the supposed harmful effects of recognizing same-sex relationships. One such call warns residents that civil unions are a Trojan horse for same-sex marriage and that the measure would use taxpayer dollars to teach children that “it’s okay to have two moms and two dads.” The group echoes the message in this pamphlet on its website:
A recent poll found that more than six out of 10 Delaware voters — 62% — “favor allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions, which is twice the number who oppose such a law (31%).” If the bill passes the Senate, it will then move to the House and Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell has promised to sign the measure.