Thanks to Schwartzkopf, Markell for Leadership

May 16, 2013

Tuesday, May 7, was an historic day. We were privileged to witness the state Senate vote on a bill to provide for same-sex marriage in Delaware, and we stood in Legislative Hall and watched Gov. Markell sign the legislation into law. It was a day of elation, celebration and yes, tears of joy. It was a day of justice and respect and equality.

As residents of Rehoboth Beach and as Delawareans, we fought hard to make this law a reality. We know that such historic developments take action by many concerned and dedicated people. Delaware became the 11th state in the nation to enact a marriage equality law because of the efforts of thousands of citizens across the state. Working together under the amazing leadership of Mark Purpura and Lisa Goodman of Equality Delaware, these citizens wrote letters, sent emails, met in their living rooms and talked with friends to advance the cause of equality. We thank each an every one of our friends and neighbors who joined in this effort.

But legislation requires a special kind of work, and its passage requires leadership. This law had many champions and many individuals who made a difference in the fight. But we would like to especially thank and single out two special individuals. Gov. Jack Markell and our own 14th District Representative Pete Schwartzkopf have led the fight for equality for all Delawareans, not just this year, but for several years. They have, at their own political risk, made this fight a priority because they knew it was the right thing to do. They spoke out, and they worked in Legislative Hall and across the state to explain why Delaware's LGBT citizens deserve respect and equality, even when it was not popular.

So with words that are surely inadequate to express our feelings, we thank them.

Today all Delawareans stand taller and live more complete lives because of their efforts. That takes leadership and we are proud to be represented by such exceptional men.

Patrick Gossett

Howard Menaker

Chris Beagle

Eric Engelhart

Fay Jacobs

Bonnie Quesenberry

Rehoboth Beach

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