More than 400 people, including a U.S. senator, have witnessed the first same-sex civil union in Delaware.

Lawyers Lisa Goodman and Drewry Fennell were joined in the New Year's Day union by the Rev. Patricia Downing, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Wilmington. Seven other couples also obtained licenses Sunday.

Goodman and Fennell have been partners for 14 years. Goodman is a lawyer who led Equality Delaware's fight for the civil union law. Fennell heads the state Criminal Justice Council and formerly led the ACLU's Delaware chapter.

U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., read the sermon and Lt. Gov. Matt Denns read scripture.

Gov. Jack Markell signed the law authorizing civil unions in May. Delaware is one of about a dozen states that allow either civil unions or marriages for same-sex couples.