Court Upholds Maryland Same Sex Marriage Ban

Maryland’s highest court on Tuesday upheld a state law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, ending a lawsuit filed by same-sex couples who claimed they were being denied equal protection under the law.

Maryland’s 1973 ban on gay marriage does not discriminate on the basis of gender and does not deny any fundamental rights, the Court of Appeals ruled in a 4-3 decision. It also said the state has a legitimate interest in promoting opposite-sex marriage.

“Our opinion should by no means be read to imply that the General Assembly may not grant and recognize for homosexual persons civil unions or the right to marry a person of the same sex,” Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr. wrote for the majority.

Legislators on both sides of the debate predicted action on the issue in the next session.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit condemned the ruling.

“I think history will hold them in contempt,” plaintiff Lisa Polyak said of the judges. “To create a legal solution in a vacuum, that doesn’t recognize that the constitution is there to support the people, is to create an ignorant and irrelevant solution.”

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family

11 comments on “Court Upholds Maryland Same Sex Marriage Ban

  1. deaconjohn25 says:

    It is nice to know that not all state Supreme Courts (like here in Mass.) have become the springboard for a judicial dictatorship. And their reasoning:: some actual common sense in tune with the constitution and state law– Bravo!

  2. Brian from T19 says:

    I hope we see this appealed to the SC.

  3. Daniel Muth says:

    Despite our state being a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party (remember the two main reasons for that: Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln), there’s an occasionally surprising amount of sanity here. There are times when one can say the same thing about the Diocese of Maryland, God bless ’em.

  4. Brad Drell says:

    Well, this all comes down to whether homosexuals are a suspect class for equal protection purposes. This isn’t about marriage. Ultimately, it will come down to economic discrimination – employment particularly. What Massachusetts did was insane – they held that the rational for denying homosexuals the right to marry wouldn’t pass rational basis scrutiny, when just about any law the legislature could imagine can pass rational basis scrutiny.

  5. Irenaeus says:

    “I hope we see this appealed to the [U.S. Supreme Court]”

    On the theory that a state’s failure to allow gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal-protection guarantee? How outcome would you expect in the Supreme Court?

  6. Larry Morse says:

    The state has in interest in civil unions. It cannot have a interest in marriage for First Amendment reasons.

    AS to Mass. Sigh….. The new governor wants three – read three – casinos in the state because the state wants the money. There is something a little un-moored about the state, if I may put it that way, something out of kilter. I know that having Mass as a neighbor (I live in Maine) is more than just a little scary. The state simply seems to have too much money, too much free time and nothing to keep its hands busy. Larry

  7. robroy says:

    I hope that it goes to the supreme court. Clearly, the right to assemble gives right to association gives the right to homosexual marriage. The founding fathers clearly had this in mind. Itso-obvious.

  8. azusa says:

    Quite so. Just like all the other ‘rights’ (abortion, homosexuality) that one WANTS to find there.

  9. Larry Morse says:

    Does anyone know why this issue has no gone to the Supreme Court? Do you suppose that the potential plaintiffs are fearful of the consequences of a negative decision that they will not take the risk? But why shouldn’t a conservative group bring the action? Or are they too worried about an unfavorable decision? I have wondered about this for along time. ANd yet, you know, this is not in the Court’s perogative. As I said before, this is obviously a First Amend. issue that should keep civil law away. LM

  10. Dave B says:

    People may have attempted to appeal to SCOTUS but the Supreme Court USA has to agree to hear the case. The Supreme Court may have signaled that they want this left in the state courts.

  11. Faithful and Committed says:

    I think that one of the reasons for this case not going to the U.S. Supreme Court is that the constitutional issues in play were interpretations of the Maryland Constitution, not the US. The grounds on which the lower court had found Maryland marriage law unconstitutional were rooted in the amendments to the state constitution that prohibited discrimination on the basis of gender and Maryland’s equality amendment.