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February 3, 2010

Effort to block gay marriage blocked

Maryland lawmakers just rejected an effort to prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages lawfully performed elsewhere.

Del. Emmett C. Burns, a Baltimore County Democrat and minister, had proposed that the state, which does not allow same-sex unions, pass a law explicitly declaring that such marriages are illegal, even when performed in another state.

The Burns proposal was seen as a pre-emptive strike against a legal opinion that state Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has been working on since a senator requested it last year. Top lawmakers have predicted that Gansler will allow same-sex marriages to be recognized in Maryland, following the state’s legal tradition of recognizing unions, including common-law marriages, that are illegal in Maryland but lawful elsewhere.

Burns had said that with a growing number of nearby states and Washington giving the green-light to gay marriage, it was especially important for Maryland to close what he called a legal loophole.

By a 12-8 vote, the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee decided to give the bill an unfavorable report, dooming it.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 5:12 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: General Assembly 2010


Great news! If Del. Burns doesn't want to perform same-sex marriages in his church, that's one thing. But to try to legislate discrimination is particularly heinous.

As a Maryland native I am so happy to see that this bill has NOT been passed. I hope that soon MD will allow LGBT marriages. This is a step in the right direction. Keep up the fight MD!

I hope AG Gansler decides that licenses that are issued in other states are accepted here in Maryland.

Because then ALL OTHER types of liseneses that are issued in other states must as well be accepted in Maryland.

If not then that would be the EXACT SAME discrimination which is at the root of this issue.

That includes ALL Marylanders who hold non-resident CCW permits from other states.

Right AG Gansler? Are you willing to endorse legislated discrimination against other out of state license holders but allow homersexuals licenses to be valid?

Who will rid us of this meddlesome priest?

Doug Gansler would have opened a can of worms if he gave positive testimony to reciprocity for same sex marriages in other states. He would have been forced to apply the same tenets to the Right to Carry Concealed weapons in other States.

Both Voters Ignorance and BentonHeights suggest a similarity between the laws that govern marriage and the laws that govern firearms. Perhaps this is a fallacious Appeal to Ridicule. The Full Faith and Credit Clause ensures that judicial decisions, contracts, and judgments entered into in one state are enforceable in all states. The Founders didn't want us flitting from state to state to escape our responsibilities, it seems.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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