WILMINGTON, Del. — Gov. Jack Markell on Wednesday evening signed the same-sex civil union bill into law, making Delaware the eighth state to allow civil unions or domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.
The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2012, will allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions, giving them all of the rights, benefits, and obligations of marriage under state law, but would not allow them to obtain marriage licenses.
“Tonight, with the signing of this law, we say to any Delawarean regardless of sexual orientation – if you’ve committed yourself to someone, and you’ve made that pledge to spend your life together in partnership, when life or death decisions come, we honor your right to make those decisions together,” Markell said.
The bill cleared the state legislature on April 14 when House members approved the bill on a 26-to-15 vote. The Senate approved the bill the week before.