By Jim Melwert
WILMINGTON, DEL (CBS) — It’s was a big day Monday in Delaware for same-sex couples, as the state’s new marriage laws went into effect.
Any couple married in another state or country which recognizes same-sex marriage will now be recognized as married in Delaware.
Also Monday, Delaware planned to start issuing new marriage licensees for same-sex couples, and the state was also set to begin converting civil unions over to marriages for those who apply.
These laws were passed earlier this year to take effect today. The timing has nothing to do with last week’s US Supreme Court ruling, but New Castle County Clerk of the Peace, Kenneth Boulden, says that ruling does have an effect in Delaware.
“It’s not only recognized within our jurisdiction,” Boulden says, “but, more importantly, for the first time it’s going to be recognized by the federal government.”
State senator Karen Peterson, who co-sponsored Delaware’s same-sex marriage legislation, and Vikki Bandy, her partner of 24 years, took part in Dealware’s first official same-sex marriage ceremony as their civil union was converted to marriage.
“It’s overwhelming,” Peterson told KYW Newsradio. “There are no words to put to what this means, not only to us but to everyone behind us.”
The new laws also recognize same-sex marriage from another state or country where it is legal.
The first same-sex marriage in New Castle County was set to take place Monday evening.