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On May 7, 2013, Delaware became the twelfth jurisdiction in the United States to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Governor Jack Markell signed the marriage bill into law just minutes after the bill was approved by the Senate. Earlier in 2013, the bill was approved in the House.  

Same-sex couple began marrying in Delaware on July 1, 2013.  


On April 11, 2013, marriage bills were introduced in the Delaware House of Representatives and the Delaware Senate. On April 17, the House Administration Committee voted to advance the bill to the full House floor, and on April 23, the Delaware House approved the marriage bill. On May 7, 2013, the DE Senate took up the marriage bill and voted 12-9 to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.

Previously, Delaware approved a bill to allow same-sex couples to join together in civil union. That law was approved on May 11, 2011 by Gov. Jack Markell after it was approved by the state legislature. The first civil unions in the state began on January 1, 2012.


A majority (54%) of Delaware voters support the freedom to marry, with only 37% saying they are opposed. (Global Strategy Group, February 2013)  


  • 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 is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. 


According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 2,646 same-sex couples are living in Delaware, representing 7.7 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

Blog Posts Related to Delaware

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.

Victory in Delaware! DE Senate passes freedom to marry legislation

Today, the Delaware Senate approved legislation to extend the freedom to marry to loving same-sex couples across the state. With today's vote, Delaware is all but certain to be the eleventh state to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.

Today: The Delaware Senate will vote on the marriage bill

At 2:00 p.m. EST, the Delaware Senate is scheduled to vote on the freedom to marry, marking one of the final steps in the process of ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage across the state.

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Resources Related to Delaware

Media Primer: 2011 Flashpoints for LGBT Equality

A media primer on the LGBT issues landscape for the coming year released by the Human Rights Campaign.

Delaware Census Snapshot

Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Delaware.

Geographic Trends Among Same-Sex Couples in the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey

Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".

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