Out-Of-State Gay Couples Flock To DE In First 6 Months Of Law - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Out-Of-State Gay Couples Flock To DE In First 6 Months Of Law

Posted: Updated:

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - On New Year's Day, Chris Beagle and Eric Engelhart, known by friends as the Beagleharts, reminisce about the year that was.

"It feels so gratifying to say this is my husband and it's been a huge step for us," said Engelhart.

In July, they became the first Sussex County same-sex couple to convert via ceremony from civil union to marriage.

Beagle says even after the marriage, their life has gone on like the 23 years before, only now with legal protection.

But the married men are far from alone. In fact, just in Sussex County, 855 couples tied the knot.

More than half from out-of-state.

Clerk of the peace John Brady tells WMDT couples have traveled from as far south as Texas through Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Not only will his department make budget for the first time since 1950 due to the increase in marriages, Sussex County is becoming a marriage destination hotspot, says Brady.

Some couples are also already planning extended honeymoon stays.

"One couple are coming back to spend a weekend in February as their honeymoon because they thought everybody was so nice in Fenwick," said Brady. "Every wedding that happens in Sussex County has an economic benefit to the county.

"[Couples] will get a hotel room, eat dinner, eat breakfast. They always forget something so they will go to the store."

Brady says one couple spent as much as $4,000 during their wedding weekend, which included a home rental in Dewey Beach.

While both Chris and Eric agree Delaware has thrived with the new law, Chris says more states need marriage equality.

"Every civil rights movement in this nation's history has not happened overnight," said Beagle. "There will always be issues but we think it's about being involved being respectful being patient and getting it done."

Chris and Eric have been together for 23 years.
     *one-hundred twenty-nine* military couples got married in Delaware this past year which is a significant increase -- 90 of those were same-sex marriages.

  • ContestsMore>>

  • Teacher Who Makes A Difference

    Teacher Who Makes A Difference

    The WMDT 47 Teachers Who Make a Difference Contest is Sponsored by Accurate Optical: "Encouraging children of all ages to come in for an annual eye exam to help them see better in school." Each month weMore >>
    The WMDT 47 "Teachers Who Make a Difference" Sponsored by Accurate Optical Encouraging children of all ages to come in for an annual eye exam to help them see better in school.More >>
  • Free Tuition Contest

    Free Tuition Contest

  • Local NewsDelmarva HeadlinesMore>>

  • New Animal Welfare Laws In Delaware

    New Animal Welfare Laws In Delaware

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-07-31 12:31:47 GMT
    WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - New laws aimed at strengthening animal welfare in Delaware are set to take effect.    One of four bills to be signed by Gov. Jack Markell on Thursday gives the Department of HealthMore >>
    WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - New laws aimed at strengthening animal welfare in Delaware are set to take effect.    One of four bills to be signed by Gov. Jack Markell on Thursday gives the Department of HealthMore >>
  • Costs For Higher Education In Virginia Rise

    Costs For Higher Education In Virginia Rise

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:27 AM EDT2014-07-31 12:27:04 GMT
    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The amount paid by students at public colleges and universities in Virginia is increasing.    The State Council of Higher Education of Virginia says undergraduates at public four-yearMore >>
    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The amount paid by students at public colleges and universities in Virginia is increasing.    The State Council of Higher Education of Virginia says undergraduates at public four-yearMore >>
  • Assateague Island Boosts Economy

    Assateague Island Boosts Economy

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:13 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:13:08 GMT
    BERLIN, Md.-  A new report from the National Park Service reveals that Assateague Island National Seashore is bringing in big bucks.More >>
    BERLIN, Md.-  A new report from the National Park Service reveals that Assateague Island National Seashore is bringing in big bucks.More >>
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Trimper's Amusements in OC May Face Lawsuit

    Trimper's Amusements in OC May Face Lawsuit

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:20:59 GMT
    OCEAN CITY, Md. - Trimper's Amusements in Ocean City may be facing a $1 million dollar personal injury lawsuit. 47 ABC reported on Sunday that Daily Record of Baltimore announced the lawsuit, but theMore >>
    OCEAN CITY, Md. - Trimper's Amusements in Ocean City may be facing a $1 million dollar personal injury lawsuit.More >>
  • Herd Control Achieved

    Herd Control Achieved

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:07:55 GMT
    BERLIN, Md.- Just about 20 years into its horse control program, the National Park Service on the Maryland side of Assateague Island, is claiming victory.More >>
    BERLIN, Md.- Just about 20 years into its horse control program, the National Park Service on the Maryland side of Assateague Island, is claiming victory.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WMDT. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.