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Gansler: Effective immediately Md. recognizes same-sex marriages performed elsewhere

UPDATE 2:50 P.M.: Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) says effective immediately the state recognizes same-sex marriages performed elsewhere and state agencies should begin giving gay couples the rights they were awarded elsewhere.

UPDATE 10:25 a.m.: Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), who requested the opinion from Gansler, said in a brief interview that he was unsure whether there would be any immediate ramifications.

"It's reaffirmation of what we thought, that Maryland can recognize gay marriage," Madaleno said.

He said that changes in state policy could result from a court ruling, legislation or administrative action.

Original Post: A long-awaited opinion by Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) out Wednesday morning concludes that the state's highest court is likely to rule at some point that same-sex marriages performed in other states are valid in Maryland.

The policy implications of the opinion are not immediately clear, and Gansler says in a one-page summary that his conclusion "is not free from doubt."

Gansler's opinion concludes "that the Court of Appeals, when it ultimately rules on this question in a particular case, will likely apply the principle that a marriage that is valid in the place of celebration is valid in Maryland. The opinion reaches this conclusion in light of the evolving state policy, reflected in anti-discrimination laws, domestic partner laws and other legislation, that respects and supports committed intimate same-sex relationships."

Maryland law currently limits marriages performed in the state to opposite-sex couples.

By John Wagner  |  February 24, 2010; 9:06 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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Comments

With all things being otherwise equal, why does the government have the power to select the genitalia of my marriage partner?
Maryland should just legalise same-sex marriage now.

Posted by: MarilynManson | February 24, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The Freedom State chooses equality!

Posted by: bobbarnes | February 24, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

What is meant by "all things"? Our government has the right and the power to regulate most, if not all, forms of human behavior. When it comes to marriage there are a lot of restrictions in place. Heck, there shoud be legal requirements that have to be met before people make the choice.

The thing I don't understand about the Gay marriage conversation is that too many people act gay and then act hetero and vice-versa. Then we have this bi-sexual categorization. How much of this is behavior versus genetics? Because if its behavior then civil rights don't apply.

How about rights for family, blood relatives. Why can't I put my retired Mother on my health insurance? Or my unemployed niece, or her children?

Posted by: InquiringMind1 | February 24, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

wow! This is great news!

Posted by: kcflood87 | February 24, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

InquiringMind1 - You can't put your retired Mother on your health insurance because she's not your spouse, nor are your unemployed niece, or her children. It's really not difficult.

Posted by: frustrated2 | February 24, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree with you on everything Mr. Gansler, but congrats on making the right decision on this. It's a simple civil rights issues and it's painful that the bigots in the state legislature can't see that - especially considering how many that oppose gay marriage are black.

Posted by: reiflame1 | February 24, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

InquiringMind1 - I can't even comprehend your thought process. I am gay, what in heck does "too many people act gay and then act hetero and vice-versa" mean anyway? The law shouldn't be concerned with people's mannerisms. I know some fairly effeminant heterosexual men; should they be denied marriage because of the way they "act"? If you are making assumptions about anyone's sexual orientation based on how they, as you say, "act", then you are ingnorant!

Posted by: scottjay | February 24, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

This is almost insulting. Maryland needs to legalize same-sex marriage NOW, and stop trying to hobble along with cowardly declarations such as this. Maryland should be a leader in civil rights legislation, instead of continuing to defend outdated, and prejudiced laws.

Posted by: acasey2 | February 24, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

This is almost insulting. Maryland needs to legalize same-sex marriage NOW, and stop trying to hobble along with cowardly declarations such as this. Maryland should be a leader in civil rights legislation, instead of continuing to defend outdated, and prejudiced laws.

Posted by: acasey2 | February 24, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

so now illegals can marry same sex partners...
does the federal goverment recognize these marriages...
and will they recognize same sex marriages for immigration purposes...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 24, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"UPDATE 2:50 P.M.: Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) says effective immediately the state recognizes same-sex marriages performed elsewhere and state agencies should begin giving gay couples the rights they were awarded elsewhere."

doers the attorney general have the power to do this...
isn't this something the governor should have said...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 24, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: InquiringMind1 "How much of this is behavior versus genetics? Because if its behavior then civil rights don't apply."

Choice has absolutely nothing to do with this. Our Constitution does protect people because of choices we make, such as the choice to speak freely, the choice to petition our government, the choice to associate with whomever we please.

Sexual orientation is not a choice, but even if it was your argument would not be valid.

I chose, some 35 years ago, to accept myself as I was created and not try to conform to something that was totally unnatural and unfulfilling for me, and that is the ONLY choice I have made with regard to my sexual orientation.

Posted by: kpharmer | February 24, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

This ruling would seem to be in conflict with the beliefs of the people of Maryland, as expressed in law. This is something that ought to be resolved democratically, either through the legislative process or through a popular referendum.

Posted by: qaz1231 | February 24, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Sexual orientation is not a choice. Religion, however, is.

Posted by: ArlingtonGay | February 24, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

qaz1231 wrote, "This ruling would seem to be in conflict with the beliefs of the people of Maryland, as expressed in law. This is something that ought to be resolved democratically, either through the legislative process or through a popular referendum."

I beg to differ. History has shown us time and again that when it comes to civil rights, the beliefs of the people often lag far behind -- and their prejudices prevail. The only way to bring about true equality and guarantee the civil rights of gays and lesbians is through legal means.

I applaud Mr. Gansler, and only wish our elected officials had half his courage. The next step is to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland; let's hope we reach that goal sooner rather than later.

Posted by: SwingsetAbby | February 24, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) says effective immediately the state recognizes same-sex marriages performed elsewhere and state agencies should begin giving gay couples the rights they were awarded elsewhere."

NO.

What Gansler did was issue an OPINION of his office stating that IF the MARYLAND COURT OF APPEALS should accept an appeal on the issue [which it is not obligated to do] THEN it was the OPINION of his office that the COURT would agree with his office's OPINION.

While published opinions of the Office of the Attorney General are often persuasive authority, they are in no fashion legally controlling.

Binding interpretation of statutes and the Constitutions [Maryland and U.S.] are the sole province of the judiciary, not an elected Attorney General.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | February 24, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The policy implications of the opinion ARE immediately clear. If Maryland recognizes gay marriages performed in other states as legal, valid marriages, then the statute restricting its own citizens from entering into gay marriages in the state is invalid. In effect, it forbids legal status to its own citizens that is confers to others.

Question - can Maryland citizens be in a gay marriage?

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | February 24, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Imagine where "civil rights" for Blacks would be, if we had left it up to the voters of each state in the 50"s, 60's or today. Why should the "civil rights" of Gays be put before the electorate? The majority does not have the right to squash minority equality. Dictators will always find a way to justify their tyranny. Equality always wins. South Africa fought and lost. Segregationists fought and lost. The Spanish Inquisition fought and lost. The Roman Empire fought and lost. Christianity and Fear will lose this fight. The ballot box will not stop evolution. It will only delay it.

Posted by: rcvinson64 | February 24, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand, where is the hate filled discussions? Oh wait, Maryland, not Virginia, sorry never mind, move along, nothing to see here........

Posted by: mjcc1987 | February 24, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Why not let the citizens of Maryland vote on this?

Posted by: Kansasgirl | February 24, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Kansasgirl: Why not let the citizens of Maryland vote on this?

-------

Okay, Kansasgirl, we will agree to that when the people who are demanding this referendum will identify which of their civil rights they are willing to subject to plebiscite.

Civil rights do not belong to a majority that gets to decide who is worthy of them. If that was the case racial segregation would still be legal.

Posted by: kpharmer | February 24, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Gay marriage

My concern is that more and more gay men get STD. It seems that gay men is easier to get an STD.
According to the report from the largest STD dating site == Positivefish.com ==(if I spell the site correctly), the gay subscribers
increased continually. Most of them are sexy.

Posted by: stdsgirl | February 24, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

One man's declaration is "long-awaited" law? Sounds like dictatorship to me.

Posted by: sutmls | February 25, 2010 3:47 AM | Report abuse

Back in 1948 Alfred C. Kinsey provided the first research study into actual human sexual behavior. In it he established a scale based on both emotions and experience. It ran from 0 to 6, with 0 being someone whose was never attracted to the same sex, and a 6 someone with no attraction to or experience with the opposite sex, and a 3 being a "perfect bisexual." About 10% of his thousands of interviewees were 6's for a significant period of their lives. Every serious study since has backed up his research. It also showed very few 3's and 4's--prejudice tends to shove people toward the lower numbers on the scale. Please pass on this knowledge. It's why people like "Inquiring mind" are confused, as are many glbt persons themselves--I staffed a help line for awhile and this knowledge answered lots of questions.

Posted by: ecbogle | February 25, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Impeach Gansler

Posted by: cheverly1 | February 25, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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