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