MARRIAGE/CIVIL UNION EQUALITY
Action to ensure that Maryland law does not discriminate in its recognition of all marriages/civil unions on the basis of gender or religious definitions of marriage. (2007)
- State-sanctioned, legally recognized unions which convey rights, benefits and obligations to same-sex partners who seek such unions.
- Recognition of such unions and/or same-sex marriages that have been legally sanctioned in other states.
- With preference for: In keeping with the principle of separation of church and state, making the basis of state recognition of all marriages/civil unions (same-sex or opposite-sex) a civil proceeding, with the additional step of marriage in accordance with religious traditions a voluntary option.
Background: The 2005 LWVMD Convention adopted a study of the legal disparities between married and unmarried partners under state law. A lawsuit brought on behalf of several same-sex couples asserted that limiting legal recognition of marriage to opposite-sex unions resulted in discrimination based on sex and was therefore unconstitutional. A Baltimore Circuit Court judge agreed with the plaintiffs. While the matter was under appeal to a higher court, a series of controversial bills were introduced that were intended to limit marriage to heterosexual couples by defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. The League had no position from which to testify.
- Supported the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. (Not Achieved – 2009)