Delaware became the 11th state to recognize same-sex marriages after its Senate voted 12-9 to legalize gay weddings and to convert civil unions to marriages. Governor Jack Markell signed the bill into law, according to a statement from his office.
Delaware joined 10 states and Washington, D.C., in allowing same-sex marriage, including three where voters authorized it last year, according to the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign. Last week, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, an independent, signed a bill authorizing gay weddings there.
“Today, we wrote a new chapter in our history and proved, once again, justice and equality continue to move forward in Delaware,” Markell, a 52-year-old Democrat, said in the statement.
The Civil Marriage Equality and Religious Freedom Act of 2013 take effect July 1, the governor said.