Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Gay Marriage in Maryland? The Free State may soon live up to its name...

from The League: Reassembled

Civil libertarians brought Maryland closer to becoming an equal rights state yesterday when "the American Civil Liberties Union today asked a Maryland circuit court to strike down a state law than bars same-sex couples from marriage and the hundreds of family protections afforded to married couples," according to the Maryland organization's press release.

The hearing is an important step in a lawsuit filed in July 2004 challenging as unconstitutional a 1973 state law defining civil marriage as only between one man and one woman. The statute is unconstitutional because it discriminates against gay men and women by denying one class of persons the right to marry, violating the constitution's demand that the state treat all citizens equally.

We need a victory in this case, especially coming on the heels of Gov Ehrlich's vetoes of "two bills that would have expanded domestic-partnership rights for same-sex partners. One would have allowed gay and straight partners to make medical decisions for each other. The other would have granted a transfer-tax exemption to gay couples who make their partners co-owners of property." (quote from The Advocate)

Even if there is a positive outcome, the ACLU predicts that it will be delayed as opponents of civil liberties and equal rights will likely appeal any pro-rights outcome. Hopefully the court will help the Free State live up to its name and give consenting adults the freedom to marry the person of their choice. The sooner, the better.

from The League: Reassembled


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