Utah Marriages of Same Sex Couples Valid in Delaware, Biden Says
Date Posted: Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
Wilmington – Attorney General Beau Biden indicated today that same-sex marriages performed in Utah are valid under Delaware law:
“Marriage equality is the law in Delaware and I strongly believe that individuals outside our State borders should be equally free to choose whom to love and whom to spend their lives with. More than 1,300 marriages of same sex couples were legally performed in Utah between December 20, 2013 and January 6, 2014 after couples received marriage licenses by Utah authorities. It is our position that these marriages are and should be recognized as valid under Delaware law.”
U.S. District Court for the District of Utah ruled on December 20, 2013 that Utah’s prohibition on same sex marriage was unconstitutional, and for the next 17 days until the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on performing same sex marriages in Utah, more than 1,300 same sex couples were legally married after obtaining valid marriage licenses from Utah officials.
Biden was a strong supporter of marriage equality legislation enacted last year in Delaware and, most recently, last October he and 13 State Attorneys General filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that bans on same-sex marriage in Hawaii and Nevada violate the federal constitution’s 14th amendment and should be struck down. State laws in Hawaii and Nevada provide many rights and protections for same-sex couples, but deny them the status of marriage. The brief argued that withholding the title of marriage consigns gay and lesbian individuals and their families to second-class status and unfairly withhold the social benefits and cultural significance associated with marriage. It was one of three Supreme Court briefs Biden signed last year supporting the freedom to marry for all couples and arguing that laws discriminating against same-sex couples are unconstitutional.