Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The Path to Marriage Equality in Maryland
I attended a meeting of PFLAG last week to learn more about the plan to get the marriage equality bill passed this year in the Maryland legislature. There are multiple plans each with a different number of steps:
1) Legislature passes the legislation, the Governor signs the bill and a referendum to repeal the legislation fails in November 2012. We have marriage equality in Maryland in 2012.
2) Legislature passes the legislation passes, the Governor signes the bill and a referendum to repeal the legislation succeeds and advocates for marriage equality appeal to the Maryland Court of Appeals arguing that the referendum repealing the law is unconstitutional in that it violates the equal protection clause of the Maryland Constitution. With the different make up of the Court of Appeals with three new liberal judges appointed by Gov. O'Malley hopefully their ruling would be different than the last time when the Court ruled on the marriage equality issue and voted on a narrow 5-4 basis. The Court overturns the referendum and marriage equality exists in Maryland in 2013.
Marriage equality in Maryland is not a matter of "if" but "when."
There are more than 1049 federal level benefits that are tied to marriage. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has to be repealed to make these benefits available to same sex couples. That battle is still ahead and sadly will take many more years given the opposition from conservative legislators.
Posted by duanestclair at 4:47 AM