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Delaware lawmakers push to legalize gay and lesbian marriage

Delaware Governor Jack Markell announced a bill Thursday to legalize same-sex marriage.

Same sex marriage passes080212Enlarge
Same-sex couple Frank Capley-Alfano (L) and Joe Capley-Alfano kiss outside of San Francisco City Hall. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the voter-approved Proposition 8 measure violates the civil rights of gay men and lesbians on Tuesday, as Washington became the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage on Wednesday. (Justin Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images)

Lawmakers in Delaware announced a bill Thursday to legalize same-sex marriage.

If approved, Delaware would become the 10th US State to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, AP reported.

Democrat Governor Jack Markell announced the legislation - which was filed 15 months after Delaware first began recognizing same-sex civil unions - at an afternoon press conference Thursday.

He was supported by Attorney General Beau Biden, also a Democrat, as well as other proponents to express their support of the legislation.

“The department I run, the Department of Justice, is fully committed to correcting an injustice,” Biden said, AP reported.

CBS reported the governor said marriage was the most basic of individual rights.

“It’s time that we do the right thing,” Markell said.

"To deny them this opportunity is to deny them what is, perhaps, the most basic of the inalienable rights that we as Americans cherish, the pursuit of happiness,” said Markell, CBS reported.

Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage, Reuters reported.

Bills are currently under consideration in three other states, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Illinois.

In Delaware, opposition to the proposal remains.

“Marriage serves a purpose and is based on the truth that men and women are complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the reality that children need a mother and a father,” Nicole Theis, executive director of the Delaware Family Policy Council, said in a statement.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130411/delaware-lawmakers-push-legalize-gay-and-lesbian