Delaware Becomes 11th State To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Just days after Rhode Island took the same steps, Delaware has become the 11th state, and the second Mid-Atlantic state, to legalize same-sex marriage:

The gay marriage bill has passed the Senate this afternoon with a vote of 12-9.

The bill, which already passed the House on April 23, was signed by Gov. Jack Markell shortly after as legislators and gay rights activists crowded around the governor on the steps of Legislative Hall.

Delaware will become the 11th state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage when the law goes into effect July 1.

U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said in a statement this afternoon that the bill “ushers in a new era of equality in our state.”

his is a truly historic day for our state,” Coons said. “Today’s vote was about dignity, respect, and basic human fairness for our neighbors. Every Delawarean deserves access to the full rights and responsibilities of marriage, no matter their sexual orientation. The passage of HB 75 ushers in a new era of equality in our state and marks an important moment in our state’s history. I am incredibly proud.”

“I think this is the right thing for Delaware,” Markell said after the vote, while posing for pictures with supporters outside his legislative office. “It took an incredible team effort.”

Gay rights activists and their supporters in the chamber erupted in cheers and applause following the Senate vote.

Delaware’s same-sex marriage bill was introduced in the Democrat-controlled legislature last month, barely a year after the state began recognizing same-sex civil unions. The bill won passage two weeks ago in the state House on a 23-18 vote.

Nice work, Delaware.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. stonetools says:

    Nice work, Delaware

    Er, not quite.

    Nice work, Delaware DEMOCRATS


    From the linked article:

    Swing-vote senators Bethany Hall-Long, D-Middletown, and Catherine Cloutier, R-Brandywine Hundred voted in favor of the legislation. Cloutier was the lone Republican yes vote in the Senate and one of two in the whole General Assembly. Two Senate Democrats, Robert Venables of Laurel and Bruce Ennis of Smyrna, voted no.

    The bill passed 23-18 in the lower house, 12-9 in the upper. By my count, the yes vote in the House was:

    22 Democrats, 1 Republican.
    The no vote was 18 Republicans.

    In the Senate,
    11 Democrats and 1 Republican voted yes.
    7 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted no.

    And the bill was introduced and signed into law by a Democratic Governor.
    The rule is clear. Where the Democrats control the state government, gay civil rights and gay marriage become law: Where the Republicans are in charge, there are no gay civil rights and no gay marriage.(Rhode Island is something of an exception).

    Why won’t we see that kind of “good work” in Virginia? Because the Republican governor is anti-gay rights; the Republican attorney-general is anti-gay rights; and the Republican majority in the legislature is anti-gay rights.

    The lesson to be drawn is also clear: if you are serious about upholding gay rights and gay marriage, don’t wring your hands about the Republicans being ” behind the times” on gay rights. Instead, vote for Democrats. The true friend of gays is the one who votes for gay rights: not the one who just celebrates the advance of gay rights(while voting for those who oppose it).

  2. Colorado just passed a civil unions law. My Mom went and made it official last week.

    Surprisingly no one died as she was leaving the courthouse……

    Also double-endorsement on this from stonetools:

    don’t wring your hands about the Republicans being ” behind the times” on gay rights. Instead, vote for Democrats.

    It’s easier to get a Democrat to vote for a tax cut than it is to get a Republican to vote for gay marriage. That’s just how it is these days.

  3. Sejanus says:

    @stonetools: “Where the Republicans are in charge, there are no gay civil rights and no gay marriage.(Rhode Island is something of an exception).”

    Republicans are not in charge in Rhode Island. Both houses of the state legislature are in Democratic hands while the Governor is an independent who fled the Republican party after it was no longer redeemable (some people *ahem* might have something to learn from Mr. Chafee). While all Republican State Senators voted for the same sex-marriage bill I don’t think it was the same situation in the lower house; there were fifteen votes against the bill, and seeing that there are only 6 Republicans in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, I’m guessing that they all voted against it and were joined by some right wing Democrats.

  4. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Sejanus: Stonetools point re: Rhode Island is that the marriage equality bill in Rhode Island has been blocked for multiple sessions at the Senate level by a group of socially conservative Democrats. It wasn’t until the Senate Republicans as a group switched from “against” to “for” that the bill was able to proceed.

  5. Hello would you mind letting me know which web host you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different web browsers
    and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
    Can you recommend a good web hosting provider at a honest price?
    Thank you, I appreciate it!