Sunday, May 24, 2009

UPDATE: Will Maryland Follow DC in Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages in Other States?

UPDATE: An article from the Washington Blade reports that the Attorney General Gansler's office has yet to receive a request from Gov. O'Malley for a review of Maryland law which may allow the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states.

With Sen. Frosh, a powerful state senator, agreeing to co-sponsor a marriage equality bill next year, momentum is growing in the state. But in the meantime, continue to call and email the pro-gay governor, urging him to request an opinion from the attorney general on the law! (See info at bottom of post)
In a piece from the Baltimore Sun, "Rethinking Marriage", support for marriage equality to reach Maryland is backed by the argument that it should first recognize same-sex marriage performed in other states, similar to DC's move last week.
Maryland, where the law requires marriage to be between a man and a woman and where attempts to overturn that requirement have been bottled up in legislative committees, could yet join the national trend. But it will require Gov. Martin O'Malley to demonstrate more than the casual interest he has shown in legalizing civil unions, let alone gay marriage, in the past.

What Mr. O'Malley must do is this: Ask Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler for a legal opinion determining whether Maryland law permits the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. And if Mr. Gansler finds that it does, the governor should immediately sign an executive order directing state agencies to adjust their rules and regulations to do so.
And Mr. Gansler is likely to give that interpretation of the law every opportunity to prevail. He has publicly endorsed legalizing same-sex marriage.
The piece goes on to say this would definitely not be the last word on LGBT equality in the state and that full marriage equality must arrive in "a law explicitly authorizing same-sex marriage." But in the meantime, recognition would blunt a lot of conservative opposition.

So I submit this question to us: Why wait for the apathetic governor to ask the attorney general? If there's a chance that Maryland law could recognize our marriages, let's demand they do!

ACTION: Contact AG Douglas F. Gansler and urge him to evaluate Maryland law. Even if doesn't go anywhere, it will stir up the conversation of marriage equality in the "Old Line State."

Main telephone number
(410) 576-6300 or 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free in Maryland
TDD: (410) 576-6372
Opinions, Advice and Legislation: (410) 576-6327

Mailing address
Office of the Attorney General
200 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202

If you're feeling very active, contact the governor, too, and urge him for an evaluation of the law.

Reach out to Equality Maryland to see how else you can get involved.

Related Unite the Fight post on attorney general's sticking up for marriage equality, CA AG Jerry Brown tell CA Supreme Court to overturn Prop 8.

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