WILMINGTON, Del. New Castle County Executive Thomas P. Gordon congratulated State Sen. Karen Peterson and her longtime partner, Victoria Bandy, for becoming the first same-sex couple to officially marry in the Diamond State on Monday morning.
“I am happy that my friend, Senator Peterson, is free to celebrate an important and big day in her life with her partner, Vikki,” Gordon said. “They’ve been together for 24 years and they wanted to demonstrate their love for each other before the eyes of the state.
“This is a proud day in Delaware history,” he added.
Gordon attended the marriage of Peterson and Bandy, officiated by New Castle County Clerk of the Peace Kenneth Boulden in the City/County Building.
The Delaware General Assembly passed House Bill 75 to allow same-gender civil marriage and to convert existing civil unions to civil marriages this past spring. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on April 23 and the State Senate on May 7, when it was immediately signed by the Governor. The law went into effect Monday, July 1, 2013.
The County Executive believes that equality is a fundamental principle in America and is reflected in the U.S. Constitution through the Equal Protection Clause. States exceed their authority when marriage is defined as only between a man and a woman.
“The obligations and rights of marriage are to be promoted, not discouraged,” County Executive Gordon said.
In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act in late June because it violated the Fifth Amendment’s protection of equal liberty.
Back in March, County Executive Gordon and Chief Administrative Officer David A. Grimaldi directed the NCC Law Department to review New Castle County laws and regulations to ensure that same-sex couples were not victimized by New Castle County through governmental discrimination and civil rights violations.