Friday, January 20, 2006

Breaking News: Judge Says Maryland Must Marry Gays

From the Washington Blade:

The suit, Deane and Polyak vs. Conaway, was filed in July 2004 by the American Civil Liberties Union. Nine gay Maryland couples and one man whose partner died have joined the suit.

Murdock said that after hearing arguments from the state defending the statute, she concluded the ban on gay marriage is motivated by bias.

"When tradition is the guise under which prejudice or animosity hides, it is not a legitimate state interest," the judge wrote, rejecting as "illogical and inaccurate" the Maryland attorney general's argument that the statute did not violate equal protection because the ban on same-sex marriage applies equally to men and women.

The court also found no "sufficient differences" between the gay marriage case and the landmark Loving vs. Virginia suit, which challenged Virginia's ban on interracial marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the prohibition against interracial marriage in 1967.

What it means:

Probably good things, but nothing just yet. This was a circuit court decision and an appeal has been filed. The judge delayed corrective action until higher courts make their decision. The good news is a Maryland constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage didn't make it out of committee last year, which means the winds may be friendly in the appeal. It also means there may be another state we can move to if things go south here. Hey, we like crab cakes!


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