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Delaware Governor Signs Same-Sex Marriage Into Law

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Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill last week legalizing same-sex marriage in Delaware.
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Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill last week legalizing same-sex marriage in Delaware.

Steve Elkins and his partner Murray have been fighting for equality for the LGBT community in their home of Rehoboth Beach and throughout the state of Delaware for more than two decades.

So last week, as he watched Gov. Jack Markell sign the bill making Delaware the 11th state in the country to allow same sex couples to marry, he says he felt completely numb.

"It was an amazing feeling to know that we had been working so hard for so many years just to get the non-discrimination bill passed, and now in the past four years, it's just gone non-stop," he says.

When Elkins helped start the community organization Camp Rehoboth in the early 1990s, it quickly helped improve not just tolerance, but also acceptance of the gay members of this little beach community.

Elkins says the fight will now go to the federal level, and specifically focus on Defense of Marriage Act laws, since the rights granted by this bill aren't much different than what's allowed in the civil union bill that passed two years ago.

But Elkins says there is still much to celebrate.

"It's a huge victory, because symbolism establishes where one feels they stand in a community and the acceptance that one has for their relationship," he says.

And while opponents may call this bill purely symbolic, Elkins says the fact that gay couples can now officially be married in Delaware means more to him than some folks will ever know.

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