LGBT NEWS: MD Judge Strikes Down Gay-Marriage Ban

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by CoCo, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    MD Judge Strikes Down Gay-Marriage Ban
    [​IMG] By BRIAN WITTE
    January 20, 2006



    BALTIMORE -- A Baltimore judge struck down a 33-year-old state law against gay marriage Friday, declaring it violates the Maryland Constitution's guarantee of equal rights.

    Circuit Judge M. Brooke Murdock immediately stayed her order to allow the state to file an appeal with Maryland's highest court, the Court of Appeals. The attorney's general office did so later in the day.

    Murdock ruled in favor of 19 gay men and women, rejecting a state argument that the traditional family is ideal for children.

    "Although tradition and societal values are important, they cannot be given so much weight that they alone will justify a discriminatory" law, she wrote.

    Massachusetts is the only state to allow gay marriage.

    "This is such an exciting moment," said Lisa Polyak, a plaintiff with partner Gita Deane. "Our participation in this lawsuit has always been about family protections for our children. Tonight, we will rest a little easier knowing that those protections are within reach."

    Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich said he was disappointed by the ruling and that his staff is weighing options, including seeking a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, which is the definition under state law.

    The ruling came in a lawsuit filed in 2004 by the American Civil Liberties Union. It named court clerks in Baltimore and four counties as defendants and challenged the 1973 state law defining marriage.

    Massachusetts started allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry in May 2004. Since then, more than a dozen states have reacted by approving constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Vermont and Connecticut provide for civil unions for gays.

    Along with the argument for preserving the traditional family unit, lawyers for the state of Maryland had said the issue was a question for the Legislature rather than the courts.

    The judge said she was "unable to find that preventing same-sex marriage rationally relates to Maryland's interest in promoting the best interests of children."

    Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Democrat, said he believes the ruling will be overturned.

    "In my opinion, the plaintiffs forum-shopped," Miller said. "I don't think the same opinion would have been rendered in 90 percent of the other circuits in the state of Maryland."

    Douglas Stiegler, who heads two groups opposed to same-sex marriage, the Family Protection Lobby and the Association of Maryland Families, said he believes the matter was outside the judge's jurisdiction and needs to be addressed by the Legislature. He supports a proposed constitutional amendment in the House of Delegates to define marriage as between man and woman.

    "We're upset that she made this decision, but at the same time it just points out why the bill is needed," he said.



    Link => http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-gay-marriage-maryland,0,6170117.story?coll=sns-ap-nationworld-headlines
     
  2. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    Guess I'm the next to get married?? Oh, but by then it will have been overturned... :rolleyes:
     

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