Delaware House passes marriage equality

Following New Zealand’s lead, the Delaware state House of Representatives voted to approve marriage equality.

But Delaware legislators failed to follow their Kiwi counterparts’ example by celebrating with a beloved traditional Delaware love song. I suppose George Thorogood’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” wouldn’t really have been appropriate anyway.

But since today was a huge day for marriage equality all over the place — with France’s National Assembly voting 331-225 for égalité, the Nevada state senate voting to repeal that state’s same-sex marriage ban, and Rhode Island’s state senate taking a step toward passing its marriage equality bill — I think some kind of celebratory singing is called for.

This isn’t quite a Delawarean love song — it was written just before Bob Marley moved to Wilmington — but it seems like a good choice for today.

Feel free to sing along.


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  • Fusina

    Good news on a day that was not so great.

  • Rudy Toombs was from Louisiana, anyway.

  • Fusina

    My best friend’s father, who was fairly wealthy, left her $666 in his will. As my daughter said, “Subtle. Real subtle.” I think it would have hurt her less if he had left her a dollar. He has been ranked by my daughter as a fucking shithead. This is a rank she reserves for the lowest of the low.

  • What an ass. How can people do such things to their own flesh and blood? I have a hard enough time being that dickish to someone who’s wronged me I’m sorry that happened to your friend.

  • rm

    Oh, Fred. “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” is a John Lee Hooker song. It’s from Detroit. Thorogood is a great interpreter of Hooker’s material.

    That said, it is hard to think of a genuinely Delawarean song.

  • Fusina

    I am going to pass this along to her. She was hurting pretty bad. Tried to cheer her up, but I don’t think I did a good job. Between that and taking a friend to hospital so they could try to figure out what is wrong with her this time, I had two friends with very bad days.

  • rm

    D’oh! Just looked up who this Rudy Toombs guy was. Sorry.

  • AirSpencer

    I momentarily got excited about the Nevada Senate vote before clicking the link and reading it has to get through the Nevada House, then go back through both houses next year before being voted on by the people. So same sex weddings in Nevada will wait until 2015 at the earliest.

    If you can get same sex married at the drive thru of the Little White Chapel by an Elvis impersonator, without getting a blood test, taking premarital counseling or waiting 24 hours between license issuance and solemnization, the war’s over and it’s just mop up battles, right?

  • Lori

    Seriously. You have to be pretty shitty to want the last thing you do on earth to be something so spiteful and mean. It’s bad enough to be a shit when you’re alive, but using your will in order to continue being a shit after your dead takes a really special kind jerkitude. For the life of me I can’t understand why people do that.

  • Lori

    The fact that there are still so many steps to go is frustrating, but I’ve decided to look on the bright side by focusing on the fact that Neveda is the first state to move to overturn an anti-SSM amendment to the state constitution. It wasn’t long ago that the haters thought those amendments would be a fairly long-term victory for them. May other states soon follow Nevada’s lead on this.

  • Lori

    I’m so sorry for both your friends. For what it’s worth you can tell her that some random person on the internet thinks that her father did an incredibly crappy thing and there’s no way she deserved that.

  • AirSpencer

    I hadn’t realized that there was a constitutional amendment to overturn. The lengthy process makes more sense now.

    I figure my home state of Oklahoma’s constitutional ban on same sex marriage will only die via ruling from the US Supreme Court.

  • Ya know, this reminds me that not too long ago (about 5 years or so ago), I feared marriage equality. Not because I didn’t agree with it in principle – but because I was afraid it was a bridge too far. That pushing for something that big at anything but a glacial pace would cause immense backlash and rollback.

    I was wrong.

    I was gloriously, beautifully, wonderfully wrong.

    I have never in my life been so glad to be so wrong about any one thing.

    I guess to sum it up: I have in just a few short years watched the tide of history and culture turn, and it is awe inspiring. What once seemed impossible is now probably inevitable.

    The old order is a crumbling, how wonderful a thing to see.

  • Matthias

    You forgot to mention Uruguay which also passed a same-sex marriage Bill.

  • Jenora Feuer

    Wow. Yeah, that’s just… just… there are no words.

    It was bad enough when I saw this happen pseudo-fictionally; Spider Robinson, in his short story ‘God is an Iron’ (because he practices Irony), had a thief discover a young woman who had just tried to commit suicide. Her parents’ will was nearby. It gave all the family’s money to the church, and she got “one hundred dollars – the going rate”.

    Robinson has stated that this was based on an actual event he was told about by a woman back in 1967. “Animals like her father are not made up by writers for shock value; they exist.”

    And , indeed, we seem to have further demonstration that they do.

    You can find the story posted in full in places around the net; it’s also the second chapter of his novel Mindkiller.

  • EllieMurasaki


  • EllieMurasaki

    …there are no words except ‘holy shit that man sucks’.

  • reynard61

    “Wow. Yeah, that’s just… just… there are no words.”

    I have six: “Rot in Hell, you old fart!”

    Then, in an ultimate act of defiance, donate the money to the local Same Sex Marriage advocacy group or anti-bullying group or HIV/AIDS patient support group — in *his* name. (Or $222 each to all three.)

  • I think that calling this man a fucking shithead may just be an insult to fucking shitheads.

  • Indeed. Perhaps the arch of history is not quite that long after all?

  • Perhaps not, perhaps not (^_^)

  • Sally

    FRED! They’re making a movie of the Best Chick Tract Ever!

  • stardreamer42

    I keep thinking the same thing. Ten years ago, I would have sworn it would be another 30 years before we had marriage equality. And as soon as we can get a case up on the “full faith and credit” clause, all those state constitutional amendments are toast.

  • stardreamer42

    Make that at least two people on the Internet. Her father was a piece of work, and she’s well rid of him.

  • Oh. My. God. Let’s make it happen, people!

  • Baby_Raptor

    Late, but add me to the random internet people offering your friends hugs.

  • Fusina

    I have this book. I don’t know if my friend has read it, but I may have to lend it to her if she has not. And I did think of this story when she told me. I don’t like to say this, but on occasion there are people the world is better off without. If not for my friend, this guy was one–I am glad she was born and that we met.

  • Fusina

    Yeah. He hated her because she outed him as a sexual abuser–of her. She gave permission for me to tell this–I would not have without it.

  • Just in the past few days, I’ve been seeing a lot of old-fashioned straight-liberal grousing about how same-sex marriage is expending political capital on an unpopular minority special-interest issue, and how it’s distracting us from the environment and economic justice and imperialist violence, etc. It’s like I’ve time-traveled back to 2004.

    I just like having win after win on *something*. And maybe people working on other issues can extract lessons from how it was done, if the lessons aren’t too specific to be useful.

  • I doubt that. There’s not really a lot of precedent saying that full-faith-and-credit means states can’t regulate who gets to be married. In practice, they can and do have different rules about age of consent for marriage, cousin marriage, common-law marriage, etc.

    Often they respect each others’ rules about which marriages are valid, but they don’t have to. There isn’t even a lot of precedent about this from the days when states banned interracial marriage, because Loving v. Virginia struck down all the bans on equal-protection grounds instead of ruling on interstate recognition.

    I think that if the state constitutional amendments ever do get federally overturned, it’ll have to be on Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause grounds, as some briefs suggested in the Prop. 8 case. And I think the time when that will happen is not quite yet, though I’d like to be wrong.

  • The_L1985


  • Carstonio

    While I’ve personally believed in marriage equality for many years, for a while I favored civil unions as a compromise, only to pacify the homophobes. But eventually I realized that this was no compromise at all – it enshrines discriminatory treatment into law.

    The folks who insist that marriage equality is too rapid of a social change don’t realize that the new laws are simply ratifying a change that has already taken place in society.

    Moreover, it’s not right that these people are passing judgment on others’ private decisions, in this case the decision on who to marry. I went through a period in my teens where I thought homosexuality was weird, mostly out of defensiveness at being wrongly accused of being gay, but I never thought the orientation was bad or wrong. As long as the person is happy and isn’t harming others, the right stance to take on anyone else’s orientation is benign indifference.

  • Carstonio

    Tom Verlaine of Television is from Delaware, but I don’t know any of his material.

  • EllieMurasaki


  • Carstonio

    Not sure if you’re bashing my post or mocking the homophobes. When I hear the euphemism “lifestyle,” I imagine Jerry Seinfeld fretting that he’s not an orgy guy.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Mocking the homophobes.* *I had that exact argument used on me about the Boy Scouts considering letting gay boys in. Not trans boys, far as I can tell, and not gay or trans leaders (here, gay boy, have your Eagle, now goodbye forever), but gay boys. And that’s ‘affirming the homosexual lifestyle’. As though the ‘homosexual lifestyle’ looks any different from the ‘heterosexual lifestyle’.

  • JustoneK

    Maybe we’ll sing Toombs when Louisiana (HA) legalizes ssm.

  • Carstonio

    LIke the lawyers defending DOMA and Proposition 8 before the Supreme Court, the people in charge of the Boy Scouts obviously assume that homosexuality is a choice. (Insert standard disclaimer that there’s nothing immoral about homosexuality whether the orientation is a choice or not.)

    And by making a distinction between the boys and the leaders, they’re endorsing the myth that gay men prey upon children or attempt to recruit them into homosexuality.

  • Carstonio

    The original ruling that the Court overturned used questionable notions about race, grounded in sectarian dogma. I’m not sure if any Christian denominations explicitly teach that the religion’s god chose to keep the races separate, or if this is found only in some independent churches. Either way, the justices could have pointed that the reasoning used by the lower court violated the First Amendment.

  • I was very tempted to throw some financial support behind this – and i’m still considering it – but those actors were so bad. Given what it is, that shouldn’t really be a deterrent, and yet somehow it is.
    I guess I’d just like to see an adaption that’s done really well so that the contrast will show just how bad the source material is. I don’t want another layer of incompetence that distracts from the more fundamental incompetence of the underlying source.
    If that makes any sense.

  • Lori

    Well, sure. Obviously she was demonic. /sarcasm

    What a shitty, shitty human being. I’d be tempted to take that $666 and spend it on a weather proof sign to stick on his grave to tell everyone what he did.

  • Lori

    Sounds like you’ve run into some people who need a little tap with the clue bat. Or you know, called out as either homophobes or people who are unable to deal with success.

    I mean really, since when is having nearly 60% approval “unpopular” and what eveidence is there that the Liberal are expending political capital on the issue? If anything Libreals are benefiting from the issue and it’s Conservatives who are spending capital on an unpopulat issue. I know that some days it doesn’t seem llike it, but US political life is more than loud Christianists.

    Also, I don’t want to get into a whole No True Liberal thing beause that’s ridiculous but IMPO anyone who sees equality before the law as a minority special interst issue needs to spend a bit more time thinking throgh the whole Liberal values thing.

  • Carstonio

    anyone who sees equality before the law as a minority special interst issue needs to spend a bit more time thinking throgh the whole Liberal values thing.

    I’ve only encountered that argument from concern trolls defending majority privilege. But there probably are folks who do value equality before the law, where it hasn’t occurred to them to think of this as applying to a specific minority. “All men are created equal” was understood at first as applying only to free white men, but that was still an improvement over the nobility concept.

  • That kind of special jerkitude is seasoned with 100% cowardice. He leaves a bomb like that to go off after he’s dead, he’s guaranteeing himself no social consequences whatsoever. I can only hope he has been unpleasantly surprised by appropriate afterlife consequences.

    Hugs to your friend, Fusina. If it’s any consolation, that asshole’s action has made her a good handful of allies, if only in spirit and at a distance.

  • It’ll happen. My homestate may well be the last state in the nation to do it (or one of the last, followed only by, at a guess, Alabama and Mississippi–with apologies to my friends in/from those states), but it’ll happen. The entire U.S. is going in that direction, and even bigots can tell which way the wind is blowing when it reaches Gulf South hurricane force.

    There are many reasons I want to move back home to New Orleans, but the politics of Louisiana are not among them. Unless you count “I would like to be among those making virtuous bloody marks with our foreheads against the brick wall of prejudice and stupidity presented by Louisiana’s state government, because at least then I’d be doing something to make my home a better place” as being motivated by Louisiana politics.

  • So over the past couple days I cleaned out my Junk Mail folder, all 7K+ posts of it (don’t ask), and in checking for false positives, I found several spam subject headers of interest — either through being amusing, sufficiently surreal, or offensive in a particularly fascinating way.

    One of them was either an author trying to get more eyeballs on his article, or a spammer using that article to make the email look like it was carrying more than its payload link – I don’t know. I only looked at the subject header, which was the title of the article:

    “Gay Marriage: Is America Ready?”

    I thought about that for all of 2 seconds, and then muttered, “Well, gay Americans certainly are. Because ‘gay’ and ‘American’ aren’t mutually exclusive descriptors, you bigot.”

    Seriously. For truth in advertising, the title should have been, “Gay Marriage: Are Straight Americans — Them Being the Only Ones Whose Readiness Need Be Taken Into Consideration — Ready?” Or maybe, “Equal Rights: Is It Safe To Give Them Gay Americans, Or Will That Scare Straight Americans Overmuch?”

    Assuming the article even existed, of course. I didn’t open the email, ’cause, y’know, spam.


  • Well, many gay americans aren’t ready for gay marriage.

    Many straight americans aren’t ready for straight marriage, too.

    And I would expect that almost no straight americans are ready for gay marriage.

    Admittedly gay Americans have been having straight marriages for generations.

    (removes tongue from cheek)

  • Carstonio

    Truth in advertising, indeed. Readiness shouldn’t even be part of the discussion unless we’re talking about a specific person’s readiness to marry, as David said. Otherwise, if you’re straight and you’re not ready for gays to legally marry, tough shit. It’s not up to you (the hypothetical one) or to me to decide who should and shouldn’t get married. I wouldn’t want the power to decide that even if were offered.

  • arcseconds

    It’s also worth pointing out that Thoroughgood’s version uses Hooker’s ‘renthouse blues’ as a prelude.

  • That reminds me Ta-Nehisi Coates’ recent posts on the history of white liberal racism in the 20th century. It definitely took a while for equality before the law to coexist fully with other kinds of progressivism:

    Today, this history is an annoyance because it gives right-wingers an opening to do the “liberals are the REAL racists” thing, as if Nixon’s Southern Strategy never happened. But we ought to be able to give an honest accounting and try not to fall into the same trap again. We forget how big a departure LBJ’s commitment to civil rights was, and how remarkable it was that in the 1940s black voters started switching to the same party as Theodore Bilbo.