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Civil union FAQ issued for Delaware same-sex couples

NEW YORK -- Lambda Legal and Equality Delaware today released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide for same-sex couples in Delaware who are considering getting a civil union.

"We congratulate Delaware on the advent of civil unions. We know that a new civil union law can be confusing, so it is likely many families will have questions about what it all means. This FAQ will provide some clarification for Delaware residents who are wondering how civil unions can help protect their families," said Susan Sommer, director of constitutional litigation at Lambda Legal.

"Because Delaware still excludes same-sex couples from marriage and federal law and many states still do not recognize civil unions of same-sex couples, it is critically important that Delaware residents know the extent of the rights and responsibilities that come along with a civil union."

"Equality Delaware is pleased and excited with the steps that have been taken toward the upcoming implementation of the civil union statute. As far as we are aware all governmental entities will be fully prepared to implement the statute on January 1st," said Lisa Goodman, Equality Delaware president. "Beginning on Jan. 1, same-sex couples who enter into civil unions in Delaware will, for the first time, have their families recognized and protected under Delaware law. It will truly be a new day as well as a new year for equality."

The Delaware Civil Union and Equality Act passed the state legislature in April 2011 and was signed by the Governor in May 2011. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2012. New Castle County's Clerk of the Peace office plans to open for special hours on New Year's Day by appointment only. Sussex and Kent County Clerks of the Peace Offices will be open to issue licenses on January 3, 2012, after the holiday observance.

Lambda Legal invites couples to sign up online through Civil Union Tracker to get their questions answered, share stories, and gain direct access to information related to their new rights and responsibilities. Civil Union Tracker can be found HERE.

To read the FAQ, click HERE.