Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Blue Hen State approves gay marriage

Delaware, “The Blue Hen State”, has become the eleventh (not “eleventieth”) state to recognize same-sex marriage.  The state Senate passed the relevant bill 12-9 (by one “field goal”) and the governor Jack Markell signed it into law immediately.  (Check the 1950 World Book Encyclopedia on how the state got this name during the Revolutionary War.) 
USA Today has a typical story here. It also offers a national map diagram the status of same-sex marriage today. 

People will be able to enter into same-sex marriages on July 1.
Delaware is sort of a bizarre state, with no sales tax, but very high tolls on I-95 through it, to get revenue from passers.  The town of Rehoboth Beach attracts a gay crowd from DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, but has had controversies over noise.  South of Rehoboth you have Bethany Beach, which used to be a religious retreat.  My first trip to the beach with my parents happened in 1947 to Bethany when I was about to turn 4.  That’s one of my earliest memories. 
Summer rentals in the beach towns are now outrageously expensive, but a surprising number of older people – especially realtors and people who own franchise businesses, live in Rehoboth year round, and tolerate the hurricane risk.  Rehoboth did not have extensive damage from Sandy the way communities on the Jersey shore did.   I’ve only spent a weekend there once, in 1997, when I had to go all the way to Dover to get a room.  (Routes 9 and 1 traffic is always horrible, because of the outlet malls without sales tax.)  I usually make day trips most summers. 

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