During a debate Tuesday on a bill which seeks to make Delaware the 11th state to legalize gay marriage, Delaware Senator Karen Peterson for the first time publicly acknowledged her sexual orientation.

(Related: Delaware Senate approves gay marriage bill.)

Peterson, a Democrat, received a round of applause in discussing her partner Vicki for the first time publicly.

“No one chose to be gay,” she told colleagues. “We are what God made us. We don't need to be fixed. We aren't broken.”

“My partner Vicki and I have been together for 24 years. Last year, we entered into a civil union.”

“If my happiness somehow demeans or diminishes your marriage, you need to work on your marriage,” she added.