Delaware same-sex couples react to Obama’s decision to support gay marriage

It’s been more than four months since civil unions became state law. In April, WHYY reporters sat down with the first couple to have a ceremony on January first who told us that they now look forward to recognition from the federal government.

On Wednesday, Lisa Goodman, and her partner who became the first couple in Delaware to have a civil union caught a glimmer of hope when President Barrack Obama announced that he supports gay marriage.

“Personally, I’m very excited by President Obama’s support for same sex marriage. Many of us believed he would be a transformative president, and his support for marriage equality is certainly a transformative moment for our LGBT community. Hearing a sitting president say that you are worthy of being treated exactly the same as other Americans is a powerful thing, especially for young LGBT people,” said Lisa Goodman who strongly supports Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender rights.

During Obama’s presidency, he’s been vague on his views of gay marriage but has been very open about his position in recent interviews.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“At a certain point, I’ve just concluded, that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said in an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts.

According to the New Castle Clerk of the Peace, marriages have declined in the state while civil unions have picked up. Through the first three months of the year, New Castle County issued 102 civil union licenses. 

“I am happy that Obama finally took a position on the subject, and happy to see Hillary [Clinton] and others support that position. Of course, the fact that they are pro-gay marriage is even better.  We do feel this is calculated, he needs supporters and votes, and this is surely one way to get them,” said Terry Isner, one of hundreds who has taken advantage of Delaware’s civil union law.

“Great news from Obama, in politics isn’t everything calculated even if it falls in line with one’s values. The push is for marriage and hopefully it will get us closer to repealing the Federal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act),” said Shakuntla Bhaya who has been in same sex relationship for almost 30 years.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal