Pace of civil unions picks up in Delaware

George Everett and Norman Spector tied the knot in Wilmington this morning in the first civil union ceremony performed by New Castle County Clerk of the Peace Ken Boulden.  Dozens of other couples are now scheduling their civil unions.

Everett and Spector have been together for more than 20 years and say joining together in a civil union is a dream come true.  Spector says he never thought it would happen.  “Nothing is left on my bucket list.  This was the last thing.  I’m completely happy.”  His new spouse agreed, “I love this man so much, and it’s been a wonderful 23 years.  I’m just really happy.”

Boulden opened his office on New Year’s Day to start the civil union process for couples as soon as they became legal in the state.  There were special ceremonies on Sunday for the first same sex couple in Delaware to join in civil union, Lisa Goodman and Drew Fennell.  

But the first union presided over by Boulden happened today.  He says he never thought about the possibility of a civil union in Delaware when he first became the county’s Clerk of the Peace in 1997.  “Hopefully the prejudices and the biases that years ago would have prevented this are also dying or dead,” Boulden said.  

New Castle County Executive Paul Clark (D) attended the ceremony and presented the couple with a small gift.  He told them he’s glad their union could happen in the county, telling Boulden, “Don’t you wish everybody you joined together could make it 22 years?”  Boulden replied, “Twenty months would be a wonderful thing.”

Following the ceremony, Spector says he’s proud of the way the gay community in Delaware is responding to the new law.  “They’re really thinking about it.  There wasn’t the mad rush that everybody thought there [would be].  With this, come responsibilities and obligations, and we’re looking at that and taking it very seriously.”

Boulden says there were eight applications for civil unions on Sunday, nearly 30 on Tuesday.  He says so far there are six civil unions scheduled for next week at this point, and that number is almost sure to rise.

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