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Action Alert!

This page includes actions to take, the email addresses of the Delaware legislators, a how-to on lobbying, and finally, contact info for Delaware's U.S. senators and representative.


Anti-"conversion-therapy" Senate Bill 65 has passed the state senate! Ask your state representative to support S.B. 65 and ban the dangerous practice of "conversion therapy" on minors by licensed therapists. Read about the roll-out of the bill here. (And report any "conversion therapy" you see or know about in Delaware or elsewhere to GayCureWatch.com.)

California, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont and D.C. have banned state-licensed therapists from seeking to change the sexual orientation of their minor clients, and bans are being considered in other states (AZ, CT, FL, HI, IA, MA, MN, NH, NV, OH, PA, RI, TX, VA, WA). Cincinnati, Miami Beach, and numerous other cities have also banned it. State bans were upheld in federal court, and Congress ratified the ban in D.C. The Obama White House condemned this discredited practice and called for its end.

The practice is considered not only ineffective, but potentially very harmful, according to all of the respected medical and mental health organizations, including the American School Counselor Association; the American Counseling Association; the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists; the National Association of Social Workers; the American Psychological Association; the American Psychiatric Association; the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; the American Psychoanalytic Association; the American Medical Association; the American Academy of Pediatrics; the World Health Organization; and others. All soundly reject the idea that homosexuality is a mental illness that can or should be cured, and that "conversion therapy" or "ex-gay therapy" or "reparative therapy" can result in anxiety, depression, and substance abuse and other self-abusive behaviors, including suicide. For more information on this practice, click here and then watch this:

   

In late 2014 members of the United Nations Committee Against Torture questioned U.S. State Department officials about why so many U.S. states still permitted some form of "treatment" to turn gay youth straight, indicating it is a potential violation of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. See details here.

Delaware should not be complicit in futile and dangerous attempts to fix what is not broken in children and teens. For an op ed by this Web manager, click here.

Click for NCLR's and the Trevor Project's Sample Legislation and Advocacy Toolkit to Protect Youth from "Conversion Therapy".


Emailing your Delaware legislators

Here are the e-addresses of your public servants:

Delaware state senators by name, party, district and e-address
Senator Party District Email address
Harris McDowell D 1 harris.mcdowell@state.de.us
Margaret Rose Henry (Majority Whip) D 2 margaret.henry@state.de.us
Robert Marshall D 3 robert.marshall@state.de.us
Gregory Lavelle (Minority Whip) R 4 greg.lavelle@state.de.us
Catherine Cloutier R 5 cloutiercathy@aol.com
Ernesto Lopez R 6 ernesto.lopez@state.de.us
Anthony Delcollo R 7 anthony.delcollo@state.de.us
David Sokola D 8 david.sokola@state.de.us
John Walsh D 9 john.walsh@state.de.us
Stephanie Hansen D 10 stephanie.hansen@state.de.us
Bryan Townsend D 11 bryan.townsend@state.de.us
Nicole Poore D 12 nicole.poore@state.de.us
David McBride (Majority Leader) D 13 david.mcbride@state.de.us
Bruce Ennis D 14 bruce.ennis@state.de.us
David Lawson R 15 dave.lawson@state.de.us
Colin Bonini R 16 senator-colin@prodigy.net
Brian Bushweller D 17 brian.bushweller@state.de.us 
Gary Simpson (Minority Leader) R 18 gsimpson@udel.edu
Brian Pettyjohn R 19 brian.pettyjohn@state.de.us
Gerald Hocker R 20 gerald.hocker@state.de.us
Bryant Richardson R 21 bryant.richardson@state.de.us

Delaware state representatives by name, party, district and e-address
Representative Party District Email address
Charles Potter D 1 charles.potter@state.de.us
Stephanie Bolden D 2 stephaniet.bolden@state.de.us
Helene Keeley D 3 helene.keeley@state.de.us
Gerald Brady D 4 gerald.brady@state.de.us
Melanie George Smith D 5 melanie.g.smith@state.de.us
Debra Heffernan D 6 debra.heffernan@state.de.us
Bryon Short D 7 bryon.short@state.de.us
Quinton Johnson D 8 quinton.johnson@state.de.us
Kevin Hensley R 9 kevin.hensley@state.de.us
Sean Matthews D 10 sean.matthews@state.de.us
Jeffrey Spiegelman R 11 jeff.spiegelman@state.de.us
Deborah Hudson (Minority Whip) R 12 deborah.hudson@state.de.us
John Mitchell D 13 john.l.mitchell@state.de.us
Peter Schwartzkopf (Speaker of the House) D 14 peter.schwartzkopf@state.de.us
Valerie Longhurst (Majority Leader) D 15 valerie.longhurst@state.de.us
James Johnson D 16 jj.johnson@state.de.us
Michael Mulrooney D 17 michael.mulrooney@state.de.us
David Bentz D 18 david.bentz@state.de.us
Kimberly Williams D 19 kimberly.williams@state.de.us
Stephen Smyk R 20 steve.smyk@state.de.us
Michael Ramone R 21 michael.ramone@state.de.us
Joseph Miro R 22 joseph.miro@state.de.us
Paul Baumbach D 23 paul.baumbach@state.de.us
Edward Osienski D 24 edward.osienski@state.de.us
John Kowalko D 25 john.kowalko@state.de.us
John Viola (Majority Whip) D 26 john.viola@state.de.us
Earl Jaques D 27 earl.jaques@state.de.us
William Carson D 28 william.carson@state.de.us
Charles Paradee D 29 trey.paradee@state.de.us
William Outten R 30 bobby.outten@state.de.us
Sean Lynn D 31 sean.lynn@state.de.us
Andria Bennett D 32 andria.bennett@state.de.us
Charles Postles Jr. R 33 charles.postles@state.de.us
Lyndon Yearick R 34  lyndon.yearick@state.de.us
David Wilson R 35 david.wilson@state.de.us
Harvey Kenton R 36 harvey.kenton@state.de.us
Ruth Briggs-King R 37 ruth.briggsking@state.de.us
Ronald Gray R 38 ronald.gray@state.de.us
Daniel Short (Minority Leader) R 39 daniel.short@state.de.us
Timothy Dukes R 40 timothy.dukes@state.de.us
Richard Collins R 41 richard.g.collins@state.de.us


Lobbyist with political figureLobbying:  What it is and how to do it

Simply put, lobbying is seeking to influence a legislator or other public figure regarding a particular issue or bill.  Lobbying is tremendously important in Delaware due to Delaware's small size.  Any lobbying effort done here goes a lot further than in more populous states, for with less than a million residents in Delaware, we each can have potentially more personal and direct relationships with our public figures.  

Bridges we can build with governmental decision-makers may be on the basis of political party, employment, business or religion.  That is, do you share their political party, work with them, do business with them, or share their religious affiliation?  Perhaps you are related to them, are neighbors with them, or contributed to them or their political party.  Any of these common areas should be briefly identified when communicating with the lawmakers or other officials.

When visiting with your lawmaker at Legislative Hall in Dover here are some tips:

(a)  Call for an appointment.

(b) Dress the part.  Blue jeans, cut-offs or T-shirts could send a message of disrespect.  Generally accepted office attire is appropriate.

(c)  Take a driver's license or other picture ID to pass security.

(d)  Identify yourself as a constituent of that legislator if you are; if not, identify yourself as a concerned Delawarean.  

(e)  Cite the bill number and where the bill is currently located, i.e., what committee or which chamber has it.  Give your reasons for supporting the bill.

(f)  Be polite no matter how uninformed or biased the lawmaker may be.

(g)  Keep focused on the issue.  Do not allow the lawmaker to dwell on unrelated smokescreens, but return to what is germane to the bill.

(h)  Tell the officeholder you will continue to be in dialog with her/him about this bill, and then do so.

When lobbying by phone or by email, above items (d) through (h) apply.

Whom should you lobby?  Start with your own representative and senator.  Then contact the committee members of the committee to which the bill is assigned.  Then contact any legislator with whom you have a personal, political, professional or religious connection.  Even those lawmakers who are supportive of your bill or issue should be encouraged in their position, lest they waver.  Legislators' e-addresses are above; other contact information for each member of the General Assembly and other elected officials is at www.delaware.gov.

Remember that if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, you are an expert on what it means to be LGBT.  If you do not belong to a sexual minority but are progressive, you will also be able to enlighten some of our officeholders.  Personal experience goes far when lobbying:  tell your story, have it in written form, and leave it with the lawmaker or other official as a handout.   You may want to use the Revised Spiritual Leaders' Statement in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights, or you may want to use other materials.  

In conclusion, we have often seen patient and persistent lobbying and education change minds in the Delaware General Assembly toward the direction of greater equality for us Delawareans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.  Have at it!


Contact Delaware's federal legislators through their official websites:

 

 

 

Sen. Tom Carper

Sen. Thomas Carper

 

Sen. Chris Coons

Sen. Christopher Coons

 

U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester

 

 

 

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© 2004 through 2017 Mr. Douglas Marshall-Steele