Tuesday, April 23 promises to be an exciting day for the freedom to marry movement.  Two U.S. states and France are scheduled to take key votes on marriage equality bills.  Already this year, marriage equality has been realized in several Brazilian states, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Uruguay and New Zealand.

Delaware — The Delaware House is scheduled to vote on the civil marriage equality bill (HB 75) tomorrow.  The bill was filed on April 11 and cleared the House Administration Committee on April 17 on a 4-1 vote.  If the House passes the bill, it will be sent to the Senate for consideration.

Governor Jack Markell strongly supports the bill and recently told supporters “If you promise to do your part and to assure that the marriage equality bill reaches my desk this year, I make a promise to you. I will sign it.”

Equality Delaware is asking supporters to contact their legislators and ask them to support the marriage equality bill.

Rhode Island — The Rhode Island Senate Committee on Judiciary is scheduled vote on the civil marriage equality bills (S38 and H5015) and on a poison pill marriage amendment (S708).  Update: Proposed substitute bills have been posted here.

H5015 was introduced on January 3 and cleared the House Judiciary Committee on January 22 by a unanimous vote.  The House passed the bill on January 24 by an overwhelming margin of 51-19.

Governor Lincoln Chafee strongly supports passage of a marriage equality law and has stated that “I will be proud to sign this important legislation when it reaches my desk.”

Polling shows that 60.4 % of Rhode Island voters support marriage equality.

Rhode Islanders United for marriage is inviting supporters to rally in Coventry and East Providence this evening, Monday, April 22, to demonstrate local support for marriage to Senators Lou Raptakis and William Conley.

France — The French National Assembly is scheduled to take the final passage vote on the marriage equality bill (Bill 344) on April 23.   The bill was first introduced in the National Assembly on November 7, 2012, which passed it on Feb. 12, 2013 on a vote of 329-229.  The Senate passed the bill with amendments on April12 by a vote of 171-165, then sent the amended bill back to the National Assembly for final approval.

President François Hollande is a strong supporter of the bill.

The bill was put on an accelerated schedule earlier this month when bill opponents turned increasingly violent.