First Same Sex Couple Married In Wilmington Today - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

First Same Sex Couple Married In Wilmington Today

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WILMINGTON, Del. -

Happening now in Delaware, the first state is now the latest state to recognize gay marriage. Those who had civil unions are now lining up to convert that document into a marriage license. The first couple through the door was State Senator Karen Peterson and her long-time partner. They say they never thought they'd see the day when they could get married.

And now same-sex couples who were not in civil unions will be allowed to marry as well. But not everybody is celebrating this news. A group of demonstrators gathered outside the state office building in Wilmington to voice their opinion against gay marriage. A counter protest was also set up this morning which included signs praising marriage equality.

In Wilmington, the first same sex couple was married at 6:00 p.m.

They looked like most couples on their wedding day. Joseph and Dan Cole were slightly nervous yet all smiles as they made sure they were dressed perfectly. They expressed so much joy knowing their home state now recognizes same-sex marriage and they can now move on with their life much like many other married couples with public commitment and legal supports in place.

"Everyone plans to grow up and get married and have a family and grow old together. And we haven't been able to imagine that. We haven't been able to have that dream," says Joseph Cole. "When you reach the more difficult parts of life where someone is in the hospital or someone has had an accident and then for lack of a better term you're up the creek without a paddle."

"When you get married, so many safety nets kick in, benefits kick in, and it really allows your live to be much more stable through the ups and the downs. Beyond that, marriage is all about commitment," says Dan Cole. "I cannot tell you how may older couples we know who spent years working with lawyers spending fortunes to put all those protections in place that a simple marriage license would have provided for them."

Joseph and Dan have been together for almost five years now. They just got engaged in February. So today is a big day for them.

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