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Jack Markell

  Photo Gov. Jack Markell
Delaware Governor Jack Markell has proactively and consistently supported lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Delawareans. Here are some examples of that support:
April 24, 2004—Signed the Governmental Leaders’ Statement in support of our civil rights immediately after being asked to do so; then said, “As always, let me know how I can be helpful.”

•May 23, 2004—Wrote a “Delaware Voice” column for the News Journal in support of LGB anti-discrimination bill H.B. 99, arguing that non-discrimination in the workplace was not only good for business, but the right thing to do.

•2004-2006—Spoke at the Delaware Pride Festival each year.  He also had a booth from 2004 to 2007, and representatives at the Festival in 2008.

•2005—Hired openly gay staffers in both the Delaware treasurer’s office and in his re-election campaign for treasurer.  He was derided on a radio station and on blogs for doing so, but forcefully reiterated his belief in hiring the most qualified person regardless of sexual orientation.

•2005-2006—Stated his support for H.B. 36, the successor to the failed H.B. 99.

•June 15, 2007—Created an on-line petition in support of S.B. 141, the successor to H.B. 36.  The petition included signatures from Delaware and all over the world.

•June 15, 2007—Wrote an open letter to Sen. Chas. Copeland to refute the argument that S.B. 141 would be harmful to small businesses.

•June 20, 2007—Testified before the Senate Insurance and Elections Committee in defense of S.B. 141. His testimony was eloquent, passionate, and contained extensive factual information and quotations.

•November 8, 2007—Wrote on his own blog on behalf of the federal Employees Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) and S.B. 141.

•March 8, 2008—Wrote a letter to the editor at the Delaware State News in support of S.B.141 & S.B. 10 (domestic partner benefits for state employees’ partners).

•March 11, 2008—Encouraged Lobby Day supporters lobbying for S.B. 141 & S.B. 10.

•October 19, 2008—In a forum with lieutenant governor candidate Matt Denn and opponents William Lee and Charles Copeland, Markell reaffirmed his support for a sexual orientation anti-discrimination law.  Denn agreed; Lee and Copeland were opposed. 

•2007-2008—Enjoyed widespread backing for his run for governor from the Delaware LGBT community, and was publicly endorsed by many of us.

•March 2009—Opposed S.B. 27, which would have amended the Delaware constitution to ban same-gender marriage; and supported H.B. 5, the then-current sexual orientation anti-discrimination bill.

•July 2, 2009—Signed into law S.B. 121, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, public works contracts and insurance.

•August 11, 2009—Signed Executive Order Eight, which among other things banned discrimination based on gender identity and expression in state government.  This was the first time in Delaware history that transgenders were specifically protected in any way by law or executive order.

•March 22, 2011—Strongly supported S.B. 30, the civil unions bill on the day it was introduced to the public and filed as a bill. See the below clip:

•May 11, 2011—Signed the Civil Union and Equality Act of 2011 into law, allowing for same-gender Delaware couples to enter into civil unions with all of the state-recognized rights and responsibilities of marriage. See the governor's address at the signing:


Everybody in Delaware—African-American, white, Hispanic, Asian, gay or straight—should know that I promise to protect your civil rights and expand your opportunities.” —Jack A. Markell

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© 2004 through 2012 Mr. Douglas Marshall-Steele