(CNN) – Delaware became the eleventh state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage Tuesday after the State Senate approved the measure and the state's governor signed it into law.
Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, signed the bill following a 12-9 vote in the State Senate passing the measure. The State House approved the bill in April.
While the state had an existing civil unions law, the new measure allows gay and lesbian couples to legally marry. Rhode Island, Iowa, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Washington and the District of Columbia all allow same-sex marriage.
"Today, we wrote a new chapter in our history and proved, once again, justice and equality continue to move forward in Delaware," Markell wrote in a statement following the bill's signing.
His approval was echoed by Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden.
"This is a historic day for Delaware," Attorney General Biden wrote. "Because of today's vote, all Delawareans will be equal under the law and free to choose whom to love and whom to spend their lives with."
In March, a divided United States Supreme Court heard arguments over the legality of two marriage laws – the federal Defense of Marriage act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, and California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage.
The nine justices hinted at disparate views on the hot-button issue, though it was far from clear how they will rule. A decision is expected in June.
Opponents of same-sex marriage include some religious and socially conservative groups. Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, wrote the new Delaware law "redefines marriage for everyone" in the state.
"Every marriage will now be genderless," Brown continued in a statement. "That means that anyone who cannot accept this radical and flawed change to marriage is going to be subjected to punishment."
But gay rights activists hailed the law's passage, saying it represents momentum for supporters of marriage equality laws across the nation.
"As America waits for rulings from the Supreme Court on two historic marriage cases, Delaware today took decisive action and guaranteed equality for the thousands of gay and lesbian couples of that great state," said Chad Griffin, the president of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign. "Thanks to principled impatience from state leaders in Dover, the momentum for LGBT equality continues unabated."
CNN's Sara Fischer and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report
I do not care if gays get married but the flag in the photo here is overwhelmingly offensive. This is a nation of people not a gaytion of fruits. The American flag is a symbol of freedom and should never be modified to fit a group of peoples agenda whatever it is.
Hey Harley – the word is "procreate." That said, where do you think gay men and women come from? Heterosexual parents.....DUH!
Wow....allowing gay marriage now makes all marriage "genderless"? What in the heck is that supposed to mean?
If the people who are against gay marriage were as strongly against infidelity, prostitution, viagra-(yes viagra-70 year old men were not meant to have sex with 35 year old women)-then they can claim to be moral.
They pick and choose to be "against" those things they can't imagine themselves doing, and ignore all of the other "sinful" behavior because the majority of adults doesn't want it to be illegal.
Disgusting, and liberal humans endorsing it doesn't make it right.
"This is wrong. Marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman. No wonder our world is falling apart. Suddenly everyone is becoming gay. Is this a cool thing now, or what?"
The world is not falling apart... the world is always in conflict and has always been in conflict because of people like yourself who are ignorant and fearful of anyone different from you, whether gay, straight, muslim, christian, black, white, etc.
People don't "become" gay. They are either gay or not, and some people are transgender. Just because you don't understand it, or take the time to understand it, doesn't mean it is wrong. And homosexuals didn't just magically appear one day... they've been around since before the Greeks... It wasn't until the emergence of Christianity, that homosexuals were persecuted and closeted....and that little tradition came with the settlers from Europe to North America.
Marriage is a man-made institution; there is nothing natural about it. So how can you sit there and say marriage is "supposed" to be this... If your religious views are really against gay marriage or gays in general, then how about you don't get in a gay relationship or marry someone of the same sex. I'm not obligated to adhere to YOUR beliefs. If I want to marry someone of the same sex, then that is what I am going to do. If I adhered to your beliefs then I would know there was a judgement day. In which case I will be judged by God and not by some ignorant man who believes he knows everything.
Also, I don't see how this flag in the photo is offensive. It is obviously not the American flag...it just looks similar to it. If they had taken the actual American flag and spray painted it those colors, then I would find it offensive.
Seems like just a year ago there were only 5 or 6 states. Now 11. And this summer, I'm guessing the other 39 will have to fall into line.
The opponents of gay marriage are going to have to come up with a better reason than a magic alien in the sky told them not to. We won't let your belief in fairy tales and ghosts and goblins dictate social morality. Archaeology, anthropology, and biology have shown us that humans, like all species of primate, are bisexual in nature and have always been so. Gay couples existed long before mankind dreamed up the notion of the gods that forbid them.
I think gays are not the problem
I'll bet you were just fine with Ted Nugent wearing a shirt made from an American flag.
you really think the word sodomite is going to be censored? you're as dumb as the rest of your cult.
plus I didn't think those cults believed in abortion... so rape-baby yes, gay-baby no? is that what i'm hearing?
GNN – The Gay News Network
Leading the nation in gay news reporting. BREAKING NEWS – we have another celebrity or athlete who is gay. Prepare the font 60 BOLD headlines for this late breaking news.
Won't be long before science will help us detect the gay defect in the womb so that gay babies could be promptly aborted. Then we don't have to worry about these s0d0mites corrupting our children.
If a gay couple in Delaware is "corrupting your child", then you are one lousy parent.
If gay people want to marry I don't care at all but that still doesn't mean I think they are normal. It's not at all what nature intended, and let's be clear I don't believe in super being overlords, aka gods. And what's with the mutilation of our flag, looks like a 5 year old's kite.
Marriage was defined & instituted by God! Now, AmeriKA, which has become a moral cesspool, wants sexual perverts & their supporters to overturn God: the Roman Empire also tried that!
"People don't "become" gay. They are either gay or not, and some people are transgender"
All perverted sexual behavior and any behavior is learned, no one is born perverted. People become gay through their
surrounding influences. Just like some people become murderers and thieves. I guess next the murderer will begin to
say "I was born this way".
No, same-sex marriage does not affect me directly. But for business owners who have moral and religious objections to it, they are beginning to be forced to provide services for same-sex weddings, or face threats of lawsuits or criminal charges. Where are their rights? That is my biggest issue.
No surprise here....Delaware is an extremely liberal state. As long as we keep this at the state level, I can always be in a state that does not sanction homosexual acts.
Bisexuals seem to enjoy both sides. Would you like coffeee or tea?
My wife's friend had a sister who was straight, turned gay, then went back to men, then gay again, then went back to men to have a baby (using sex), stayed with him for a few years then went gay again. So tell me again how it isn't a choice for many?
Ho ho ho – eat do do Republicans – you are losing again, and again, and again.
America is progressing very nicely in the social arena – good health care thanks to President Obama, equal rights, and coming soon, immigration reform.
Thank you Mr. President.
The assertion that a change like this "redefines marriage for everyone" is a fully dishonest equivocation. It switches from the question of how eligibility is defined (a definition which is necessarily the definition all people are affected by) to the question of what the terms of the relationship are once you enter into it, to imply that a change in who is eligible will change the experiences of people who were eligible before and are still eligible now. It's dishonest, and it's an appeal to fear, which is why it is a standard talking point for the anti-marriage groups.
And yes, I do mean "anti-marriage". The concerted attempt to reduce a meaningful and committed relationship to an animal husbandry permit is an attack on marriage itself, pure and simple.
The anger and vitriol emanating from the anti-gay crowd is more characteristic of the persecutors of christians than of the Christ.
Republicans trying to defend marriage a day after Sanford is elected to the House!
This remains on the top of my list of most stupid things said in the 21st century.
I find it entertaining that all these religious people throw out how unnatural, sinful, and disgusting homosexuality is.
1. Homosexuality IS found in nature among other species, so your claims there are factually incorrect.
2. It's only sinful according to religion. And in Gods eyes ALL sins are equal. So lying, stealing, not obeying your parents is just as bad a having same-sex. So don't sit here and spill your guts about how bad it is, because you're just as bad in Gods eyes.
3. I think it's more disgusting to push your religious views on people more so than it is to be different or in a minority.
Morality was established long before religion, that's a fact. So any way you slice it, treating a group of people like they are worth less than you because of sexual orientation is absolutely, undeniably bigotry, hatred, and discrimination. Now would God feel about that? Religion is hypocrisy!
We're forgetting as a nation who CREATED marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman. The only reason these people want to get "married" is because they get certain rights, mainly financial gains. So be that may, call it something else and give them the same rights as married couples- but don't call it marriage because thats not what it is. So for example you could check- Single, Married, Legal Partnership....... Legal Partnership would be more suiting for this so called same sex "marriage" Sorry but this is offensive to a nation built on Christian ways. Give them the rights like all of us have but just don't call it marriage. To be clear, I'm for these same sex couples to have the same rights but I'm against calling it marriage.