In first year of civil union law, Delaware issued over 500 licenses to same-sex couples

Just over a year ago - on January 1, 2012 - the Civil Union and Equality Act of 2011 took effect in Delaware, allowing same-sex couples to join together in civil union, which affords couples some of the protections and responsibilities - but little of the respect and dignity of marriage - that marriage provides. This week, Delaware reporters found that the state's three marriage bureaus have so far issued approximately 565 civil union licenses since the law took effect. 

Despite the significant, historic advancement that the civil union law represents, it remains clear that the law is no substitution for the freedom to marry. We know that same-sex couples in Delaware deserve better - that their love and commitment deserves to be respected by their state in the same way that different-sex couples' love and commitment is respected. 

Delaware law currently excludes same-sex couples from marrying through a state statute. In the summer of 2012, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, who helped to pass the civil union law, told reporters that he was excited for the day that same-sex couples in Delaware would be able to marry. In the report, Gov. Markell applauded Equality Delaware's leadership on passing the civil union law. 

As we celebrate the 565 same-sex couples who joined together in the past year in civil union, we also look forward to a day when these couples can see their state stand up for their love, their commitment, and their families.

Learn more about the freedom to marry in Delaware.