Same-sex couples hitched in Sussex County

By Michelle Provencher 7:48pm, July 1, 2013 - Updated 7:52pm, July 1, 2013
Gay and lesbian couples were able to tie the knot for the first time ever in Delaware today.

The First State's first openly gay elected official, Sussex County Clerk of the Peace John Brady, was there officiating the marriages.

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"We did 25 conversions today, of civil unions on the papers to marriages. We did two civil unions conversions ceremonies. We did 23 new licenses," Brady said.

Brady said for some partners, this was a long time coming.

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"The longest couple we had, we had a couple together for 49 years and they got a marriage license today," Brady said.

Brady said it wasn't just Delawareans getting hitched, but couples from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia, too.

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"Under the DOMA ruling last week, for federal benefits it has been argued that if they get a license of marriage in Delaware, the federal government recognizes it as a Delaware ceremony, and give them the right to benefits," Brady said.

Marriage perks include immigration status, filing federal income tax, Social Security benefits, retirement plans and access to health insurance.

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