Delaware, another state that’s only kind of a state, has just joined Rhode Island in jumping ahead of Illinois on the passage of a same sex marriage bill.
The Delaware Senate passed the bill 12-9 on Tuesday. It was immediately signed by Democratic Gov. Jack Markell, making Delaware the 11th state to approve gay marriage.
"Delaware should be, is and will be, a welcoming place to live, love and raise a family for all who call our great state home," Markell said, according to the Wilmington News Journal.
Only three states that gave President Obama a higher percentage of the vote than Illinois last year have not approved gay marriage -- Hawaii, California and New Jersey. Hawaii appointed a senate committee to study the issue. California’s Proposition 8 -- the ballot amendment banning gay marriage -- is under review by the Supreme Court, and the state has refused to defend it. New Jersey has a Republican governor, so is unlikely to pass gay marriage.
It’s not just homogenous, liberal Eastern states that have passed same-sex marriage. Maryland has the fourth-highest proportion of African-Americans in the U.S., at 29 percent -- twice as high as Illinois. Last November, the state passed a referendum allowing same-sex marriage. President Obama’s support for the cause helped overcome opposition from black ministers, who rallied against the referendum, as they have in Illinois.
Illinois is closer to passing same-sex marriage than any other state. The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act has passed the Senate, and is awaiting action in the House. Gov. Pat Quinn says he will sign it. Will Illinois be 12th? Or will another state beat us, again.