Delaware Governor Jack Markell alluded to an anticipated gay marriage debate during his inaugural speech on Tuesday.

“We will advance the cause of liberty, equality and dignity in our time,” he told an audience at Central Middle School in Dover. “Our state will be a welcoming place to live, to love and to raise families for all who choose to call Delaware home.”

Spokesperson Catherine Rossi confirmed to gay weekly the Washington Blade that Markell was indeed referring to marriage equality.

“The governor referred in his inaugural address to the civil rights advances Delaware made in his first term,” she said. “He expects that Delaware will build on that progress in his second term. We expect part of that progress to be a marriage equality bill.”

Over the summer, Markell told The Huffington Post that he expects the issue to be on the legislative agenda and that he would support such an effort.

Two states – Illinois and Rhode Island – have already started debating marriage equality, while New Jersey, Hawaii and Minnesota are also expected to visit the issue. A civil unions bill in Colorado appears to have sufficient support to become law.