Delaware becomes eleventh state to approve same-sex marriage
May 7th, 2013
05:54 PM ET
11 months ago

Delaware becomes eleventh state to approve same-sex marriage

(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


Filed under: Delaware • Gay rights • Jack Markell • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (394 Responses)
  1. coolusernametwo

    Nobody even cares to comment. We have all been brainwashed by now to accept the homosexual nonsense. It's called "conditioning" in psychology. As in Pavlov's dogs salivating on command.

    May 7, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  2. AD

    So except NJ and PA, same sex marriage is legal in North East US. Interesting.

    May 7, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  3. linda123

    And the walls come tumbling down...............

    May 7, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  4. Teamski

    This was the right thing to do. We have a secular government and the law should always reflect that. Every legal biding citizen is entitled to their happiness.

    -Ski

    May 7, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  5. ToldUSo

    Pray the gay away? No way! Legislate away the hate.

    May 7, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  6. Muhammad

    I seek refuge in Allah in order to be saved from Shaitan the rejected one. Sad day for America. Your Bible, your Torah and our Qur'an clearly state this is wrong. Marriage is a religious tenet not a job, therefore, the founding statue of Freedom of Religion is being destroy by homosexuals. –Marriage is not a job and Homosexuality is not a religion

    May 7, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  7. Martin Nalor

    One step closer to God's judgment for embracing abhorrent and perverted behavior.

    May 7, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  8. James PDX

    "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."

    Congratulations on uttering one of the 10 most stupid things ever spoken by a human being.

    May 7, 2013 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  9. Megan Baldwin

    This is wonderful news!!The world is slowly changing for the best.I believe that my gay and lesbian friends as much right to marry as I do and to be as happy as any other straight couple.Blesssed be! )0(

    May 7, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  10. Me

    39 more to go. :)

    May 7, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  11. amanda nguyen

    You need to come explain that to the ones here! Id love to marry my fiance legally in louisiana!

    May 7, 2013 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  12. JoshO

    Everyone deserves the chance to be unhappy. I don't understand why conservatives are against gay marriage - the best way to stop people from having sex is to let them get married!

    May 8, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  13. Rick

    You won't be able to get anywhere near Rehobeth Beach now.

    May 8, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  14. Tim

    Reason is triumphing over wrong. It's only a matter of time before all 50 states make it legal for two people who want to be married to each other can, and make it legal. This is what is so great about the United States of American good always wins over wrong. And love always wins over prejudice.

    May 8, 2013 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  15. paul

    Seems like only the New England states care about freedom for all. It is a happy day for us and a sad day for the bigots out there in the south.

    May 8, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  16. Loathstheright

    Actual equal rights spreading in all the civilized states.

    May 8, 2013 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  17. Scoot

    Big win in Delaware! Nice!!

    May 8, 2013 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  18. JT

    One by one the states will fall to equality and religious superstition will go back into the closet.

    May 8, 2013 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  19. Rick1948

    Another state rushes into the 80's.

    May 8, 2013 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  20. Rachel

    Gawd, this world is falling apart at the seams. Ugh!!!

    May 8, 2013 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  21. John

    The children of Delaware will unfortunately be the ones that end up paying for this horrible decision. The reason CA voted agaisnt gay marriage is Californians know how gays and the gay agenda has wrecked their state. People don't trust gays in CA. These smaller country bumpkin states whose legislators have pushed them into gay marriage are going to find out with time what a horrible decision that was. To anyone that said civil unions would lead to gay marriage, well obviously that was a huge lie. Thank God so many states passed amendments banning it.

    May 8, 2013 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  22. Bob1god

    And the Revolution rolls along!

    May 8, 2013 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  23. Theo

    Another state emerges from the Dark Ages

    May 8, 2013 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  24. steve

    good for you delaware. maybe one day this whole thing will be a non-issue and everyone will have equal protection under the law.

    May 8, 2013 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  25. danielson

    i think its wrong for two people of the same sex to get married! its better off for a man n woman to get married instead!

    May 8, 2013 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
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