Today: Same-sex couples have the freedom to marry in Delaware

Today, July 1, the freedom to marry took effect in Delaware. The bill passed out of the Delaware legislature 2 months ago, on May 7, and was immediately signed into law by Gov. Jack Markell. 

The first couple to marry in the state was Karen Petersen, a Delaware State Senator who co-sponsored the bill establishing the freedom to marry earlier this year, and her partner of 24 years, Victoria Bandy. They tied the knot at the New Castle County Clerk of the Peace in Wilmington, Del. 

"It's a real thrill, it's a thrill for both of us," Sen. Petersen said about marrying in her state. "It's not something that we ever expected in our lifetimes, but it means a lot personally and financially."

Last week, the United States Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Because of the ruling, Sen. Petersen and Bandy - and all of the same-sex couples who marry in Delaware - will be able to access all of the federal protections that marriage provides. 

Equality Delaware, the statewide organization committed to advocating on behalf of LGBT Delawareans, led the effort to pass the marriage bill this year. Freedom to Marry served as a lead partner on the Delaware campaign by providing strategic guidance and counsel on all aspects of the legislative campaign, in addition to managing the campaign's digital strategy. 

Learn more about the freedom to marry in Delaware HERE.