Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Maryland and Gay Marriage

Maryland failed to pass a gay marriage bill last spring, but a new bill is being filed now and may pass. Governor Martin O'Malley is supporting a bill that balances authorization of equal marriage rights with language exempting religious organizations who object from performing ceremonies for gay couples. I suppose the language, if drafted correctly, could exempt a religious organization that objected to heterosexual marriage from performing those ceremonies as well -- it would only be fair.
Here is a link to a Washington Times story about O'Malley. And here is a link to Marylanders for Marriage Equality. A tip of the OOTJ hat, actually, to Mark Weikel of, which is sponsoring an online petition and fundraising drive in support of this initiative. Good luck to Maryland voters!
Here is the current status of Same Sex Marriage in the US:
Issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples: Massachusetts, Connecticut, California*, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and the District of Columbia Recognizes same-sex marriages from other states: New York, Maryland Allows civil unions, providing state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples: Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island (Note: In Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire, same-sex marriage has replaced civil unions.) Grants nearly all state-level spousal rights to unmarried couples (domestic partnerships): California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington Provides some state-level spousal rights to unmarried couples (domestic partnerships): Hawaii, Maine, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia * The California Supreme Court ruled on May 15, 2008, that same-sex couples have the right to marry in California. Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, was passed on Nov. 4, 2008. On Aug. 4, 2010, a federal district judge ruled that the same-sex marriage ban in Proposition 8 violated the equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Enforcement of that decision has been stayed pending appeal. California does not currently allow same-sex marriages to be performed. Same-sex marriages performed before Proposition 8 was passed remain valid.
(from an excellent and quite current report on the wonderful website at the National Council of State Legislatures.) It's a terrific resource for all sorts of data!

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