Equal Protection Amendment Pulled from Senate Floor in Del. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Equal Protection Amendment Pulled from Senate Floor in Del.

Posted: Updated:
Legislative Hall in Dover (Photo: WBOC) Legislative Hall in Dover (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- A proposed equal protection amendment to Delaware's state constitution has been tabled after certain lawmakers said they need more time to consider the proposal.

The vote was supposed to come soon after 49 people were killed at a gay club in Orlando, Fla. over the weekend. The bill has been in the works for weeks. Sen. Karen Peterson filed it on May 19.

The amendment says equal protection under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sexual orientation, race, sex, gender identity, age, religion, creed, color, familial status, disability or national origin.

Many of these protections exist under current law. Peterson says the amendment would provide for stronger, broader protection and serve as a statement that Delaware treats all people equally.

Doug Ferris is a supporter who lives in Wyoming, Del.

"It's quite surprising to know that we don't have those in our state constitution, because everyone should be under equal rights no matter what."

People advocating against the bill say since many of those protections already exist, but they believe the bill broadens the power of the courts. The synopsis of the bill says it allows the courts to establish their own rules and tests for proof of equal protection violations.

"We do not want our state constitution to broaden the boundaries of government which is what this bill is going to do," said Kimberly Whaley Mascheri, an advocate in opposition Tuesday at Legislative Hall.

Peterson acknowledged Tuesday that she did not have enough votes to pass the bill which needs a two-thirds vote in each chamber.

Joy Whaley Hill was advocating against the bill, too. She says the repercussions of the bill are not clear.

"It's premature to pass a bill that's possibly going to amend our constitution when we really don't know what the full ramifications of that would even look like," she told WBOC.

Peterson explained the proposal to fellow senators Tuesday and offered supporting testimony from a law professor, then tabled the legislation.
           
The amendment requires a two-thirds vote in each chamber, and Peterson acknowledged she did not have enough votes Tuesday for passage.

To actually change the state constitution, the bill needs a two-thirds majority in both houses in two separate legislative sessions. That means the entire process would need to happen again next year.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Delaware Bill to Help Immigrant Students with Legal Status

    Delaware Bill to Help Immigrant Students with Legal Status

    Jun 20, 2018 2:51 AM2018-06-20 06:51:00 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 2:51 AM EDT2018-06-20 06:51:54 GMT
    immigration.jpg.jpgimmigration.jpg.jpg
    immigration.jpg.jpgimmigration.jpg.jpg
    The state Senate has passed a bill that encourages Delaware colleges and universities to assist foreign-born student entrepreneurs in maintaining proper legal status within the United States.More
    The state Senate has passed a bill that encourages Delaware colleges and universities to assist foreign-born student entrepreneurs in maintaining proper legal status within the United States.More
  • Eastern Shore Pipeline Faces Opposition and Support

    Eastern Shore Pipeline Faces Opposition and Support

    Jun 19, 2018 10:32 PM2018-06-20 02:32:00 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 10:32 PM EDT2018-06-20 02:32:16 GMT
    The Delmarva Pipeline Company went before Maryland lawmakers earlier this year to present their plans for a 190-mile natural gas pipeline to run from Cecil County down to Accomac, Virginia.More
    The Delmarva Pipeline Company went before Maryland lawmakers earlier this year to present their plans for a 190-mile natural gas pipeline to run from Cecil County down to Accomac, Virginia. More
  • Delaware Unemployment Rate Falls to 4 Percent in May

    Delaware Unemployment Rate Falls to 4 Percent in May

    Jun 19, 2018 7:18 PM2018-06-19 23:18:00 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 7:18 PM EDT2018-06-19 23:18:08 GMT
    DOVER, Del. --- Delaware’s unemployment rate fell in May to 4 percent, as the number of unemployed state residents fell below 20,000 for the first time in adecade. The last time was May 2008, when there were 19,449 unemployed. The Delaware DepartmenMore
    DOVER, Del. --- Delaware’s unemployment rate fell in May to 4 percent, as the number of unemployed state residents fell below 20,000 for the first time in adecade. The last time was May 2008, when there were 19,449 unemployed. The Delaware DepartmenMore
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two Arrested Following Seaford Prostitution Sting

    Two Arrested Following Seaford Prostitution Sting

    Jun 19, 2018 5:20 PM2018-06-19 21:20:00 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 5:22 PM EDT2018-06-19 21:22:01 GMT
    Two people were arrested following a prostitution sting in Seaford Tuesday.More
    Two people were arrested following a prostitution sting in Seaford Tuesday.More
  • New Details on Firefly Death, Medical Response

    New Details on Firefly Death, Medical Response

    Jun 18, 2018 10:36 PM2018-06-19 02:36:00 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 7:44 AM EDT2018-06-19 11:44:52 GMT
    DOVER, Del.- The 20-year-old Philadelphia woman who was found unconscious at her Firefly campsite was in cardiac arrest before she passed away, according to local officials. Kent County's Director of Public Safety says Firefly attendee Caroline Friedman wMore
    The 20-year-old Philadelphia woman who was found unconscious at her Firefly campsite was in cardiac arrest before she passed away, according to local officials. Kent County's Director of Public Safety says Firefly attendee Caroline Friedman wMore
  • Laurel Man Arrested on Sex Charges

    Laurel Man Arrested on Sex Charges

    Jun 19, 2018 5:30 PM2018-06-19 21:30:00 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 5:31 PM EDT2018-06-19 21:31:04 GMT
    A wanted Laurel man turned himself into the Seaford Police Department Monday.More
    A wanted Laurel man turned himself into the Seaford Police Department Monday.More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Multiple Arrests Made During Firefly Weekend

    Multiple Arrests Made During Firefly Weekend

    Dover police made multiple arrests at the Firefly Music Festival this weekend.

    More

    Dover police made multiple arrests at the Firefly Music Festival this weekend.

    More
  • Ocean City's "Boardwalk Elvis" Passes Away

    Ocean City's "Boardwalk Elvis" Passes Away

    A man who delighted Ocean City crowds as "Boardwalk Elvis" has passed away. Norman Webb died Saturday after a battle with cancer. Webb roamed the boardwalk for decades dressed up as "the King." Webb would also sing Elvis songs in costume as well. A few weeks before his passing, Webb was awarded a key to Ocean City. Webb was 78 years old.

    More

    A man who delighted Ocean City crowds as "Boardwalk Elvis" has passed away. Norman Webb died Saturday after a battle with cancer. Webb roamed the boardwalk for decades dressed up as "the King." Webb would also sing Elvis songs in costume as well. A few weeks before his passing, Webb was awarded a key to Ocean City. Webb was 78 years old.

    More
  • New Details on Firefly Death, Medical Response

    New Details on Firefly Death, Medical Response

    The 20-year-old Philadelphia woman who was found unconscious at her Firefly campsite was in cardiac arrest before she passed away, according to local officials. Kent County's Director of Public Safety says Firefly attendee Caroline Friedman w

    More

    The 20-year-old Philadelphia woman who was found unconscious at her Firefly campsite was in cardiac arrest before she passed away, according to local officials. Kent County's Director of Public Safety says Firefly attendee Caroline Friedman w

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices