Delaware becomes eleventh state to approve same-sex marriage
May 7th, 2013
05:54 PM ET
8 years 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.

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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. sly

    "Sly I wasn't aware there was 51 states."
    Texas seceeded, leaving 49, but Puerto Rico and the Middle East are ours, so that's 'more than 50'.

    Ok, so we really have 49 states today that belong to the US – I'll admit it.

    May 8, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. TJ

    When did you choose to be straight?

    May 8, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. AN

    Sin is anything that is contrary to the law or will of God. For example: if you lie, you have sinned. Why? Because God has said not to lie (Exodus 20:16). If you do what God has forbidden, then you have sinned. In addition, if you do not do what God has commanded, you sin (James 4:17). Either way, the result is eternal separation from God (Isaiah 59:2). Sin is lawlessness (1 John 1:3) and unrighteousness (1 John 5:17). Sin leads to bondage (Rom. 6:14-20) and death (Rom. 6:23).
    Paul, in the book of Romans, discusses sin. He shows that everyone, both Jew and Greek, is under sin (Rom. 3:9). He shows that sin is not simply something that is done, but a condition of the heart (Rom. 3:10-12). In Ephesians Paul says that we are "by nature children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3). Yet, "while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly," (Rom. 5:6).

    May 8, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. teedee

    Sodom and Gomorrah, that's all I have to say...

    May 8, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. Enough

    Tired of this debate. There's no convincing either side. June's decisions (provided they're substantive) can't get here soon enough (no matter the result).

    May 8, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Hillcrester

    Will MN be next? Then perhaps IL? And of course, CA, one way or another. SCOTUS is the real wild card. If not now, soon.

    May 8, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. disguisting

    Stay off my property, stay away from me and family, and I'll tolerate you.

    May 8, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. disguisting

    Stay off my property, stay away from me and family.

    May 8, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. eavmama


    I assume the people you refer to as "living in open sin" are those using "God's word" to pass judgment on an entire community of people. Did I get that right?

    May 8, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Rob


    You might want to read the book of Romans in plain English. God gave Cesar and his court over to THEMSELVES because of the lust for one of another. They were judged by their actions and God judged them. You to are now judging somebody else and you to need to quit pointing fingers because three are point right back at you. Gay is wrong in the eyes of God, its called LUST of the flesh and if God meant for man to be with man or woman to be with another woman he would allowed them to have babies with one another. Judge will come upon these states AGAIN. Ask Boston after this past year. Worse things will happen and there will be nashing of teeth and point fingers at God, AGAIN.

    May 8, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. Sane Person

    Yay Grats Delware. Ignore all the god loons and threatening people. They can whine all they want.

    May 8, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Jez

    This has got to kill right-wingers. I love the way one after another is "changing their stance" on gay marriage, just the way they are "changing their stance" on immigration. They are trying to get out of the stone-ages.

    May 8, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. eavmama


    You caught us. This whole campaign for equal rights is merely a ruse to trespass on your property and bother you and your family. And to think we were so close...

    May 8, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. qs

    I can't seem to nail down just which is more frustrating – religious people thinking that their personal superst.itions are fact, or that they genuinely don't grasp the concept that just because they believe something does NOT mean anybody else is obligated to believe as you do.

    May 8, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Beingaberean

    Marriage is a union between a man and a woman – God said it, that settles it, and the 3.9% of the population can go pound salt. It will never be recognized even if the loony toons do run the asylum.

    May 8, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. Fred Evil

    Your religion ain't my problem. Quote all the scripture you like, you still can't make me live by your interpretation of it.

    May 8, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Kay

    This "God Loon" doesn't have a problem with gay marriage. I just think everyone needs to chill out, go home, and tend to your own business.

    May 8, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. William T

    ...lovin' the social change in the world – bye bye fearful conservatives (who (scientifically proven) have smaller brain registries for empathetic emotions (i.e. they're primal cave men) then liberals).

    May 8, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. rosie

    This is ok but smoking pot is not. Shame on America. Both should be ok.

    May 8, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. Scott Indpendent

    across america young people are more in favor of legalizing gay marriage than are older demographics = its only a matter of time. same with legalizing mj

    May 8, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. RJW


    God doesn't send fire and brimstone down because of somebody being gay or somebody getting a gay marriage. The fact that you would even believe such a thing is mind boggling. To say that the bombing had something to do with God's judgement is ridiculous. There will be a return someday and judgement will take place at that time, but not before then. This nonsense about God removing his protection or punishing people is ludicrous. And I will reiterate that I know plenty of gay people who are devout Christians and it disgusts me that their fellow Christians would sit in judgement of them. That is NOT your job. I'm glad I don't attend a church that teaches such baloney.

    May 8, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. Vinny

    Let's hope this nonsense stops and we completely ban it at the federal level.

    May 8, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. Arsh

    How is Delaware a state but Puerto Rico isn't what's the last important thing to ever involve Delaware. seriously.

    May 8, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. jungleboo

    Given that you have no idea how to choose a screen name on a public board without completely disenfranchising yourself based on your spelling skills, I do indeed promise to stay away from your "diguisting" family and property. But you are hereby forewarned to stay ON your "disguisting" property, and raise your "disguisting" family, so that you do not further embarrass yourself.

    May 8, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. james k

    yeah, such good news! loving whomever you want and being able to show it legally is becoming acceptable. way to go sound minds not diluted by dark age ignorance of how the world really works.

    May 8, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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