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Delaware lawmaker weds in state’s first same-sex marriage ceremony

Delaware lawmaker weds in state’s first same-sex marriage ceremony

WILMINGTON, Del. — A state senator and her partner have become the first same-sex couple to be legally wed in Delaware.

Sen. Karen Peterson and her longtime partner, Vikki Bandy, both 63, exchanged vows Monday morning, converting their civil union to marriage in a brief ceremony attended by about 35 friends and supporters.

Robert Craig, The Wilmington News-Journal/AP
Delaware State Sen. Karen Peterson, left, and her spouse Vikki Bandy wave to supporters in Wilmington, Del., Monday, July 1, 2013. The two are the first couple to be legally wed under the state’s new gay marriage law.

Peterson came out as gay on May 7 while giving an impassioned speech on the Senate floor moments before the chamber voted to legalize same-sex marriage.

She said she has been in a committed relationship with Bandy for 24 years; the speech marked the first time that Peterson has publicly disclosed that she in in a long-term relationship with another woman.

Following Monday’s ceremony, other same-sex couples lined up to get their marriage licenses on the day Delaware’s new gay marriage law took effect.

Delaware in May became the 11th state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage when Democratic Gov. Jack Markell signed a gay marriage bill into law just minutes after its passage in the legislature.

The same-sex marriage bill was introduced in the Democrat-controlled legislature barely a year after the state began recognizing same-sex civil unions.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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