Keri Renault

Maryland Attorney General Recognizes Same-Sex Marriage

Filed By Keri Renault | February 24, 2010 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Attorney General Doug Gansler, Equality Maryland, marriage equality, Maryland, same-sex marriage, SB 582

Attorney General Doug Gansler has released a long-awaited opinion maryland.gifin favor of recognizing out-of-state, same-sex marriages in Maryland. Senator Rich Madeleno (D-Montgomery) requested the Attorney General's opinion in May of 2009.

The opinion concludes the State of Maryland may recognize a same-sex marriage that is valid in the jurisdiction in which it was contracted. The Attorney General's opinion also applies to valid marriages performed in foreign countries.

The opinion is not itself law in Maryland, but an interpretation that may be persuasive to a court reviewing agency action based on the opinion.

Thus what we say in this opinion is a prediction, not a prescription, as to the how the Court would approach this issue under current law.

Translated the fight for marriage equality continues. But with an endorsement of sorts on same-sex marriage from the top legal official in Maryland, LGBT proponents gain a powerful momentum shift during the lawmaking 2010 General Assembly which runs through the second week of April.

In 2007, a Court of Appeals in Anne Arundel County overturned a pro-gay marriage ruling, holding that a ban on gay marriage was not a constitutional violation. Since then Maryland legislators have followed divergent paths to change the law.

Supporters of same-sex marriage have tried to enact a Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. The proposed bill didn't come to a vote and died in committee in 2009. This year's version, SB 582 will be heard by the Judiciary Committee on March 3rd.

Opposition to same-sex marriage in Maryland seeks to create constitutional amendments to prohibit same-sex marriage and civil unions. The most recent attempt by social conservative Delegate Emmett Burns--HB 90--was defeated in committee last month, 12-8. Had the proposed legislation succeeded, the bill would have invalidated recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages and set policy that same-sex marriages are against Maryland public policy.

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And NOM goes ballistic in 5... 4... 3...

Bad headline. Not what the AG said at all. Leave the propaganda, lies, and spin to the other media. Gay media should stick to a higher standard.

Eh, hollow news. Why the hell would you simply not stay in the state that allowed marriage for you?

Couples that abuse the privilege of marriage in a state that allows them only to ditch it to go back and economically enrich a discriminatory state instead annoy the hell out of me.

If you're gonna benefit from a state, you better be paying your dues and returning the favor. Residence is a symbiotic relationship, not a parasitic one.

In this economy, I don't think we can fault people for staying in a state where they have a job. Not everyone can just pack up their bags and start their lives over somewhere else.

This is effectively legalizing same-sex marriage there, since DC will be allowing them to do it soon. It became less than a day trip.

So Lucrece, couples who get married by an Elvis Impersonator in Las Vegas are honor-bound to stay in Nevada?

This Marylander is pretty stoked about the AG analysis. Considering how many Marylanders work in the District the married in DC Live in MD dynamic would be pretty symbiotic.

Now if we can just get Gender Identity out of committee this year.

Greg, if Las Vegas was giving legitimate MARRIAGE CERTIFICATES WITH THE PERTINENT BENEFITS to same-sex couples, then, yeah, it would be pretty shitty if you left the state to go back to a bigoted state and give them your tax dollars despite discrimination despite abusing the marriage services of another state.

Civic Responsibility is not a one-way street; the state provides you protections in exchange for your services to the state (taxes, spending money in that state, etc).

Lucrece you're making no sense. Just because a state's laws are prejudiced does not make the entire STATE prejudiced! Why should people have to leave their jobs, family, and friends to live in another state? If they can get their marriage recognized in one state and go back home and keep the benefits, why shouldn't they? Furthermore, if none of us continued to fight for our civil rights in states that do have prejudiced laws, how on earth do you think we're going to achieve them? If all gay people left Maryland, how on earth would we successfully push the legislature to pass the laws we need to protect us? Your logic is astoundingly flimsy.

Then don't get married until you can in you precious home state.

Your state government is prejudiced, and you're feeding it tax money. And yet you can't extend the loyalty to the state that DOES offer you recognition and dignity.

That's called opportunism.