Dover, DE -
Moments after a gay marriage bill cleared its final legislative hurdle in Delaware, Governor Jack Markell signed it into law.
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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.
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 this month."
The law is set to take effect on July 1.