On May 11, Delaware's Gov. Jack Markell signed SB No. 30 (full text), authorizing same-sex civil unions in the state. The Wilmington (DE) News-Journal reported on the signing ceremony. The bill, which gives parties to a civil union the same rights as married couples, provides that civil unions may be performed by clergy, judges or clerks of the peace. It, however, protects the rights of clergy (but not of clerks of the peace) to refuse to do so, providing:
nothing in this section shall be construed to require any person authorized to perform solemnizations of marriages or civil unions to perform a solemnization of a civil union, and no such authorized person who fails or refuses for any reason to join persons in a civil union shall be subject to any fine or other penalty for such failure or refusal. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, a Clerk of the Peace or deputy thereof who issues a civil union license shall be required to perform a solemnization of such civil union if requested by the applicants for such license....The new law will become effective on Jan. 1.