The state of Delaware begins issuing same sex marriage licenses today thanks to a law the state adopted in May.
The first two Delaware residents set to be married are state Sen. Karen Peterson (D) and partner of 24 years, Victoria Brandy. Peterson sponsored legislation that legalized marriage equality in the state.
“Who would think at 63 I’d be getting married, you know?” she told NBC Philadelphia. “It’s a real thrill, it’s a thrill for both of us. It’s not something that we ever expected in our lifetimes, but it means a lot personally and financially.”
Due to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Peterson will not have to worry about her union one day being torn apart by a majority vote, of either the state’s lawmakers or the people. She and Brandy will also receive the same federal rights as any other married couple, including hospital visitation, inheritance and joint tax filing status.
The law makes Delaware the 11th in the nation to allow same sex marriage, an accomplishment years in the making. The impeccable timing of Delaware’s law, however, taking effect just days after the the court’s decision on DOMA — that was not planned.
Delaware’s law will also allow couples who’ve already announced their partnership with civil unions to convert those unions into full marriage licenses. A study by researchers at the Williams Institute and the University of Massachusetts predicted the flurry of new marriages in the coming months will generate a $7 million bump in economic activity around the state.
This video is from CBS Philadelphia, aired Monday, July 1, 2013.
[Stock photo: redswept / Shutterstock.com.]