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.