The Freedom to Marry in Delaware

Winning Marriage: July 1, 2013

Same-sex couples began marrying in Delaware on July 1, 2013 after Governor Jack Markell signed the freedom to marry into law on May 7, 2013 shortly after the bill was approved by the state legislature.

History and the Path to Victory:

  • May 11, 2011: Governor Jack Markell signs into law a bill allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil union, which provides many but not all of the protections and responsibilities of marriage.
  • February 2013: Polling in Delaware tracks majority support for the freedom to marry, reflecting the power of the national discussion of why marriage matters.
  • April 11, 2013: Legislators in Delaware, in a move championed by Equality Delaware, introduce a bill to extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in the First State.
  • May 7, 2013: Governor Jack Markell signs the freedom to marry into law following the bill’s previous passage in the Delaware House and Senate.
  • July 1, 2013: The statute takes effect, and same-sex couples begin marrying in Delaware. The statute takes effect, and same-sex couples begin marrying in Delaware.

Groups That Actively Worked on Marriage

  • Equality Delaware is the statewide organization working to ensure and promote dignity, safety, and equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Delawareans.
  • ACLU Delaware LGBT Rights Project is an integral component of the Delaware chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, advocating for the state's gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals.
  • Freedom to Marry was the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.