WILMINGTON, Del. -- Delaware became the 11th state to legalize same-sex marriage after a lengthy debate Tuesday in the state Senate and the surprise votes of two lawmakers.
A half hour after the 12-9 Senate vote, Gov. Jack Markell signed the legislation into law on the main stairs in the lobby of Legislative Hall.
Democratic Sen. Bethany Hall-Long and Republican Sen. Catherine Cloutier provided the swing votes in favor of the legislation. Cloutier was the lone Republican yes vote in the Senate and one of two in the General Assembly as a whole.
According to the bill, Delawareans will be able to enter into same-sex marriages effective July 1. The law provides a mechanism for converting existing same-sex civil unions established in Delaware to marriages.