WASHINGTON — A year ago, when Vice President Joe Biden revealed in a television interview that he supported same-sex marriage, such unions were legal in six states.
Tuesday, the Legislature in Biden’s home state, Delaware, voted to become the 11th such state, part of a rapid shift on the issue that is making same-sex marriage the norm in liberal parts of the country. The Delaware Senate approved the marriage bill, 12-9, sending it to Gov. Jack Markell, who has championed the measure.
Delaware’s action, combined with Rhode Island’s passage of a similar law last week, means that same-sex marriage is now legal in most of the Northeast, from Maine through Maryland, with the notable exceptions of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie, the state’s Republican chief executive, has blocked a marriage bill passed by the Legislature.
The legislative battles on the issue are now moving to the Midwest, where the Minnesota House is expected to vote on a marriage bill later this week. The outcome there hinges on a few legislators, mostly members of the state’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party representing rural parts of the state, who have not yet revealed their positions. Opponents have publicly said, however, they are losing ground.
Gay rights supporters are “hopeful” about the Minnesota outcome, said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, one of the chief advocacy groups on the issue.