Delaware state Senator Karen Peterson came out as lesbian during the floor speeches of a debate about legalizing gay marriage, multiple outlets have reported.
Sen. Peterson said, "If my happiness somehow demeans or diminishes your marriage, you need to work on your marriage," according to Think Progress.
Via Think Progress:
No one chose to be gay. We are what God made us. We don’t need to be fixed. We aren’t broken. [...] My partner Vicki and I have been together for 24 years. Last year, we entered into a civil union. [...] If my happiness somehow demeans or diminishes your marriage, you need to work on your marriage.
The Delaware Senate voted to approve marriage equality legislation, making Delaware the 11th state that recognizes the marriages of same-sex couples. Governor Jack Markell has said he will sign the bill into law.
Victory Fund broke the news about Sen. Peterson via Twitter:
BREAKING: Delaware Sen. Karen Peterson comes out as gay during marriage debate #lgbt
— Victory Fund (@VictoryFund) May 7, 2013
Reactions were positive as others learned of the news via the social network.
— Erica Rubinsky (@eriruby) May 7, 2013
So happy for Senator Karen Peterson for coming out publicly during her testimony. #DE4M
— Jordan Budd (@jordan_budd) May 7, 2013
A similar incident occurred earlier this year, when, during a debate on gay marriage, Nevada state Senator Kelvin Atkinson announced that he was gay.
Last week, Rhode Island became the 10th state to legalize gay marriage.