I Do: First Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies In DE - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

I Do: First Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies In DE

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SUSSEX CO., Del. - In front of nearly 100 supporters, families and friends, Eric Engelhart and Chris Beagle became the first Sussex County same-sex couple to convert via ceremony from civil union to marriage.

It's a moment the men say they never expected to happen in their lifetime.

"It wasn't on our radar when we started dating," said Engelhart.
     
"This is not so much about a celebration between Eric and I, we want this to be a celebration for all same-sex couples," said Beagle.

Same-sex couples lined up outside of the Marriage Bureau in Georgetown just minutes before doors opened at 7 AM Monday morning. It was all made possible after Delaware law makers voted for a marriage equality bill back in May.

The first marriage conversion in Delaware happened in New Castle County as State Senator Karen Peterson married her spouse Vikki Bandy. Close to twenty couples converted to marriages in Sussex County and nearly as many applied for new licenses, according to Sussex County clerk of the peace John Brady.

"I do believe that it's a sign of the times and will extend across the country," said Brady. "It's going to be interesting how the 37 remaining states deal with the issues in the next remaining years."

This comes only a week after two landmark rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court, allowing couples like Beagle and Engelhart to now receive full federal benefits.

"Public support is on our side," said Beagle. "The Supreme Court has ruled in our favor. These are really momentous historic times for the gay community."

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