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October Surprise

Democrats succeeded in keeping the politically explosive issue of same-sex marriage off the ballot in November, but they may not be able to outrun the issue altogether.

That's because the Maryland Court of Special Appeals has tentatively scheduled arguements about the issue for October. This according to Robert Zarnoch, the assistant attorney general who represents the General Assembly.

The court challenge is by a group of gay and lesbian plaintiffs who contend that Maryland's law banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. They won a major victory in circuit court. Now they're headed to the state's mid-level appeals court.

Democrats are not thrilled with the idea of seeing the issue flare in the weeks before Election Day. Party insiders said to expect them to try and pull some legal tricks to delay the case, so it stays out of view until after November.

By  |  May 24, 2006; 7:21 AM ET
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