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Md. AG’s gay marriage opinion gets mixed reviews

ANNAPOLIS – In an advisory opinion, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said this morning that the Court of Appeals would likely order that the state recognize as married same-sex Maryland couples who were legally wed in other states.

“While the matter is not free from all doubt, in our view, the Court of Appeals is likely to respect the law of other states and recognize a same-sex marriage contracted validly in another jurisdiction,” Gansler wrote in an opinion released Wednesday morning.

“In light of Maryland’s developing public policy concerning intimate same-sex relationships, the court would not readily invoke the public policy exception to the usual rule” that states recognize legally binding contracts, including marriage, from other states, Gansler added.

Gay marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C.

ACLU of Maryland staff attorney David Rocah praised the decision.

“I think it’s correct and I think it makes clear what we had thought and asserted, which is that well-established Maryland law makes clear that valid out-of-state marriage should be recognized, including in this context, and we have every expectation that the various state agencies will act in accordance with the AG’s view of the law,” Rocah said.

The opinion advises state agencies that they are to treat as validly married same-sex couples who were wed in states where gay marriage is legal, Rocah added.

Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr., D-Baltimore County, said he is “stunned” by the opinion.

“What he has opined is repugnant and is in contradistinction to the policy of this state,” he said.

Gansler’s opinion is not binding on any state agency, Burns noted.

Click here for the full opinion at the Office of the Attorney General’s Web site


  1. Why do people not read the US Constitution? This is a gross failure upon the part of American Public schools not requiring the reading and studying of the US Consitution and knowing the Bill of Rights by Heart. Shame on everyone!

    States do not have the right to pick and choose which or what Federal laws that they will obey or not obey let alone the basic law of this country–the US Constitution. If a state grants the right of marriage to anyone then other states MUST recognize it under the good faith and credit clause.

    We had a Civil War a little over a century and half ago simply because of patchwork laws on slavery. The same principles apply here in that if one state decides to recognize the Civil and Human Rights of Gay people —which IS their right to begin with under the equal rights amendment as well as case law such as Lawrence vs Texas, Loving vs Virginia—then other states MUST also recognize these rights.

    We can not have a United States when segments of the population are locked out of their rights just as black people were during the Civil war era. There IS no logical reason to deny anyone the right to marry whether they be heterosexual or gay and same sex marriage is not necessarily a homosexual marriage—it can involve as in the historical manner– two people of the same sex/gender—and this was done for business purposes in which two persons of the same sex would join together in a partnership for business purposes together—essentially being liable for each others business mistakes. A business partnership is essentially a marriage.

    Religion should play NO part in which and what rights the People may have as this country was founded as a Secular Nation in which religious freedom is only tolerated within the law—meaning that if you are LDS you can not legally murder someone or commit other crimes because your church says you must or can–or if you are of the Hawaiian traditional faith–you can not sacrifice a vigin to Pelee. Proof of this principle can be found in the Waco, Texas Seventh Day Adventist Davidian sect at Mt. Carmel which violated Federal Gun Laws and case law also shows the same principles in other groups which have violated Federal Drug Laws.

    The Roman Catholic Church is a foreign Government and has no business interfering with the People’s human and civil rights and that also goes for the LDS Church who have now joined hands with the Romans to deny the Civil and Human Rights of the gay citizens of this country. OF course, this is par for the course of the Romans–as they have murdered, boiled alive, burned at the stake over 2-million people simply because these folks did not believe as the Chuch dictated or science proved their beliefs to be wrong.
    The Roman Catholic Church needs to be kicked out of this country just as the Anglican Church was during the founding years of this country as well as in France during their first Revolution. Both relgious groups need to be heavily fined to pay for every man woman and child’s rights that they have either taken away or interfered,restricted with, their tax exemptions taken away as they have no right to impose thier religious beliefs and canons on the population as a whole who may or may not be of their faith. In this country we have the absolute right to be FREE of religion and its influence. Religion in the wrong hands is like an atomic bomb in a fanatical regieme—it is a very evil thing—more people have been murdered (including 6-million Jews during the Holocaust) over religion than all the wars since the beginnings of mankind have killed put all togehter.

  2. Baby Steps……..

    We’ll get there MD.

  3. @ludwig:

    You stated the following:

    “If a state grants the right of marriage to anyone then other states MUST recognize it under the good faith and credit clause”

    Before 1996, that would have been true. The Defense of Marriage Act passed and signed into law in 1996 allows states to NOT recognize same-sex marriages of other states. They may if they choose to as the MD AG has stated that they are able to but because of DOMA, they are no longer required to by way of full-faith and credit.

  4. The state of Maryland has no right to regulate, legislate, or pontificate on the subject of marraige. God defined marraige long before Gansler and Omalley were born, and the state of Maryland is therefore irrelavant and arrogantly interfering in the Christian faith. Of course that is what it has always been about anyway–what god do marylanders worship?

  5. Um, Ranger, I think it is more like the Christian faith arrogantly interfering with the state of Maryland. Stop trying to legislate your religion and your morality on the rest of us. Don’t like gay marriage? Then don’t enter into one, and leave everyone else alone.