Thursday, July 09, 2009

Will Maryland Follow DC?

WTOP reports that Gov. O'Malley thinks we should recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states:

"I think that it's very difficult to deny equal rights to people when it comes to rights that are disbursed by a government rather than a faith or a church," O'Malley said Monday on WTOP's Ask the Governor Program. "If the person has these rights under another state, I think we're sort of pressed to deny those rights. So, yes, we probably should respect those rights."

O'Malley has been cold to the idea of legalizing same-sex marriages in Maryland, but has promoted the idea of civil unions.

"I believe that if we were to have civil unions, there would be no question about whether or not we would recognize unions in other states. And that's the way to move forward."

Before making any changes to state laws, O'Malley is waiting for an opinion from Maryland's attorney general.

"If the law allows that, then that's what we will do."

O'Malley's remarks come as a new law in the D.C. recognizing same sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions is set to take effect on Tuesday.
The District recently moved to take this step so Maryland's action would be nothing new in the region. One can understand why the District chose this route rather than legalizing same-sex marriages as getting this legislation past Congress quite difficult. Maryland's choice results from politics of a different sort. The General Assembly won't pass it. Gov. O'Malley seems willing to have gay marriages in the State but doesn't want the credit from Blue Maryland/blame from Red Maryland. Ironic though as we used to be the place people came to get married more easily and with less fuss. No renewing of the fine tradition of eloping to Elkton. Instead, we'll be forcing couples--and their wedding business--to go elsewhere.