U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
CONTACT: Ian Koski at 202-224-4216

Senator Coons makes pitch for marriage equality in Delaware

In video for the Human Rights Campaign’s Philadelphia Gala this weekend, Senator Coons reiterated his strong support for marriage equality in Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. — U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged attendees of the Human Rights Campaign’s Philadelphia Gala on Saturday to support Equality Delaware’s pursuit of full marriage equality here. Delivering remarks via video, Senator Coons said Delaware was “poised to make history.”

“We want to be the tenth state — the eleventh, if you include the District of Columbia — to show the basic human decency that comes with offering full marriage equality to our citizens,” Senator Coons said. “Equality Delaware already has my full support, but it needs yours, too.”

“Equality is the birthright of every American, and it’s up to each of us to work hard to ensure that everyone — no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity — can access the equal rights and protections due every American. We have a real chance to pass marriage equality in Delaware this year, and show the next generation of LGBTQ youth that they are not broken; that they are not wrong; that they ARE equal.”

A family commitment prevented Senator Coons from attending the gala in person, as he did in 2011 when he keynoted the annual gathering. Saturday’s video can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppDw5FHXGnU

A transcript is below:

Good evening. I’m Senator Chris Coons of Delaware.

Two years ago I stood on stage at this very gala and issued a challenge. I said that it was up to each of us to make it better for a generation of young LGBTQ Americans growing up in a country that tells them they are somehow less — somehow not worthy of being treated equally.

Equality is the birthright of every American, and it’s up to each of us to work hard to ensure that everyone — no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity — can access the equal rights and protections due every American.

By being here tonight; by working with the Human Rights Campaign and by leading the fight for equality in our communities; you are making a difference. The Human Rights Campaign has staff in Delaware and other equality battlegrounds because of your support.

You are making it better. And I thank you.

I don’t have to tell you, of course, but this is going to be a big year for equality in this country. As a nation we’re poised to make historic progress this year, and — let’s not kid ourselves — this is after a couple of very, very good years.

The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; winning equality in New York, Maryland, Maine, Washington, and Minnesota; getting the Respect for Marriage Act, which repeals the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act,” through the Senate Judiciary Committee. Just this week the Pentagon announced it would offer benefits to same-sex couples never offered before.

We’ve got incredible momentum at our backs, and are gazing forward at an historic opportunity.

Thanks to the work of Equality Delaware, the Human Rights Campaign, and folks like you, Delaware passed a bill legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples in 2011. I was honored to stand with two close friends at their wedding — the state’s first same-sex civil union — and I am honored to stand with them again now as they lead the fight for full marriage equality in Delaware.

Delaware is poised to make history… and we want you to be a part of it.

We want to be the tenth state — the eleventh, if you include the District of Columbia — to show the basic human decency that comes with offering full marriage equality to our citizens.

Equality Delaware already has my full support, but it needs yours, too.

We can’t do it without you, and we need your help.

I hope you’ll go to equalitydelaware.org — even right now on your phone, as you’re here enjoying the gala — and sign up. Sign up to show your support, to volunteer, and to continue making a difference.

We have a real chance to pass marriage equality in Delaware this year, and show the next generation of LGBTQ youth that they are not broken; that they are not wrong; that they ARE equal.

We’re all equal, and it DOES get better.

I hope you’ll stand with Delaware as we campaign for marriage equality this year.

Thank you.

Tags:
Defense of Marriage Act
Equal Rights
Video
Respect for Marriage Act
Equality
LGBT
Marriage Equality
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