Maryland set to expand gay rights, same-sex marriage
Maryland may become the latest state to expand gay rights -- specifically regarding same-sex marriage.
January 12th, 2011
08:52 AM ET

Maryland set to expand gay rights, same-sex marriage

Maryland is poised to become the sixth state to recognize same-sex marriage as proponents say they believe they have enough support to pass such a measure in the upcoming legislative session.

The expansion of gay rights appears to have gained significant traction as Maryland's General Assembly begins its 90-day session Wednesday. Not only are Democrats optimistic about their chances of approving same-sex marriage, but a leading Republican, sensing momentum on the issue, has instead countered with a proposal to grant civil unions to gay couples.

Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley has publicly stated that he would sign a marriage bill into law. Maryland then would join Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C., in sanctioning same-sex marriages.

Maryland has been inching toward granting greater rights and protections for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Last year Democratic state Attorney General Doug Gansler offered a legal opinion recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. "We've been marching in this direction for a while now," said Democratic state Delegate Heather Mizeur.

soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Josh Farmer

    The gay-mariage issue is a losing issue for the GOP unless they redefine the argument from pro/con gay marriage to whether government should be invovled in the marriage licensing business in the first place. By granting government the right to license marriage as it does hunting and driver's licenses, one ultimately gives government the same power to take those licenses away. Anything government gives it can take away. It's time to support the Government-Free Marriage movement and solve the many problems associated with government's encroachment into private individuals' lives.. Government-Free Marriage, an idea who's time has come.

    January 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dan

    When people advocate for "government free marriage," I say it should actually be "religion free marriage". France, among other countries, does not allow religious groups to marry in legally recognized ceremonies. A religious marriage is a private option, but it carries no legal meaning in France. Unless you marry in city hall, before a civil justice of the peace then you aren't married. This is the direction we need to go. Gay couples already have the religious freedom to marry in America. It's time for the law to catch up to this reality It's time to remove the "courtesy" of allowing religious groups to marry under the legal recognition of the state. Religious groups have abused this privilege.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. sara9miller

    I agree with Josh Farmer. We do not want government in control of marriage. We need to start treating each other as humans. Government free marriage is the pathway to equality. Government should have no control over religion or marriage. Leave marriage to the religions or to the people to freely contract with one another.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jackie P.

    It's really nice to hear that things are starting to look up, at least as far as governmental acceptance goes. From my perspective, being 17 and a member of lgbtq, it truley is encouraging to be able to see hints of a brighter future for myself and other people who are lgbtq.

    January 22, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
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