Moments after a gay marriage bill
cleared its final legislative hurdle in Delaware, Governor Jack
Markell signed it into law.
Passage in the Senate came on Tuesday
after a roughly three-hour debate which centered largely on religious
freedoms. While Democrats control the Senate by nearly a 2-1 margin,
the measure cleared the chamber with just one vote to spare. The
House approved the bill last month.
Senate approves gay marriage bill.)
Markell, a Democrat and a strong
supporter of marriage equality, signed the bill with little fanfare.
“Today's historic vote makes Delaware
the eleventh state across the U.S. where loving and committed couples
can share in the joy and protections that marriage brings,” Marc
Solomon, national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, said in a
statement. “As happy couples and their loved ones celebrate and
prepare for the first weddings in Delaware – following the win in
Rhode Island just a few days ago – this milestone sends yet another
message to the Supreme Court that it's time for marriage for all
Americans. Freedom to Marry is proud of its work with Equality
Delaware to secure this victory, and we look forward to surging
forward and continuing the momentum in Illinois and Minnesota later
The law is set to take effect on July