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Delaware: New Group Eyes Civil Unions

Delaware: New Group Eyes Civil Unions

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Delaware's newly formed gay rights group has hit the ground running, launching a public push to legalize civil unions for the state's gay and lesbian couples.

Equality Delaware
's first meeting, attended by about 120 people, resulted in the unveiling Thursday of the campaign to get civil unions. State Rep. Melanie George and Sen. David Sokola have signed on to be the lead sponsors of the bill, which they said will likely be filed in mid-March, according to theNews Journal(Wilmington, Del.).

According to the group, about 700 Delaware couples would enter a civil union within the first few years the law takes effect.

In addition to granting gay and lesbian couples the same rights as married couples have in the state, the civil union law would also rescind current policies that fine and imprison same-sex couples who fraudulently present themselves as married couples. It would also establish religious freedom protections for clergy, and ensure that same-sex marriages from other states be recognized in Delaware.

Equality Delaware president Lisa Goodman told the News Journal that there is enough support to legalize civil unions, but full-on marriage equality would probably be an unsuccessful battle.

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