Yesterday, Delaware joined the ranks as the eleventh state, plus D.C., with marriage equality on the books. Here’s what you need to know about marriage equality in the First State, when the law will take effect and the rights married same-sex couples will receive.

How do I obtain a marriage license in Delaware?

Once licenses are made available to same-sex couples on July 1st , the procedures will be the same as the existing ones for other married couples.  All the details are available at each county’s Clerk of the Peace website.

What rights and responsibilities do same-sex couples who legally marry receive in Delaware?

Same-sex spouses will receive the same rights and responsibilities provided to different-sex spouses under Delaware law, including health care decision-making, property and inheritance rights.  Married same-sex couples do not receive access to the more than 1,100 federal rights and responsibilities based on marriage because of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and the new law in Delaware does not change that.

What do I have to do if I'm a Delaware resident who is legally married in another jurisdiction?

You do not have to get married in Delaware or otherwise register your marriage in Delaware.  Delaware’s marriage equality law recognizes as valid lawful marriages between same-sex couples from other jurisdictions.

What does the law mean if I have entered into a civil union with my partner in Delaware?

Couples in a civil union may apply to the Clerk of the Peace in the county in which their civil union is recoded either for a marriage license and have the marriage solemnized, or to have the civil union designation changed to marriage. Any civil union that has not been disolved or converted to a marriage by July 1, 2014 will be automatically converted to a marriage on that date. 

Filed under: Marriage, Community

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