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Delaware Senate poised to pass marriage equality law today

DOVER, Dela. – The state Senate today will debate a marriage-equality bill, and all signs point to passage in the Democratic-controlled upper chamber.

The Democratic-controlled General Assembly voted 23-18 on April 23 to pass HB 75, and Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, has promised to sign the bill into law if approved.

Delaware would become the 11th U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. The state legalized same-sex civil unions in 2011, and that law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012.

In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island (Aug. 1, 2013), Vermont and Washington -- and in Washington, D.C. It also is legal within the Coquille Indian tribe in Oregon, the Suquamish Indian tribe in Washington state and the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Michigan.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France (June 2013), Iceland, the Netherlands (and the Caribbean island of Saba), New Zealand (August 2013), Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay (July 2013, no later than Aug. 1).

In Mexico, same-sex marriage is available in the Federal District (Mexico City) and in the states of Oaxaca and Quintana Roo. The marriages are recognized nationwide by Supreme Court order.

In Brazil, same-sex marriage is legal in the states of Alagoas, Bahia, Paraíba, Rondônia, Santa Catarina and São Paulo. Elsewhere in Brazil, same-sex couples can enter into a "stable union" then go before a judge and convert the union into a full marriage.

(Stay tuned to SDGLN for full coverage of the vote.)