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Top MD Court Upholds ‘Gay Marriage’ Ban

From a bitterly disappointed Reuters:

Maryland court strikes down same-sex marriage

Wed Sep 19, 2007

By Jon Hurdle

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Maryland’s highest court ruled on Tuesday that marriage is between a man and a woman, overturning a lower court ruling and dashing the hopes of nine same-sex couples who wanted legal protection for long-term partners.

The state’s appeals court, in a 4-3 decision, said the state has a legitimate interest in maintaining heterosexual marriage as the institution that allows procreation and the traditional family structure.

“Our task … is to determine whether the right to same-sex marriage is so deeply embedded in the history, tradition and culture of this state and nation that it should be deemed fundamental,” the court wrote in a 244-page opinion. “We hold that it is not.”

One U.S. state, Massachusetts, has legalized gay marriage, and four others, most recently New Jersey, have a system of civil unions under which same-sex couples in long-term relationships have equal rights to heterosexual married couples.

The court recognized that the intimate relationships of gays and lesbians “extend to the core of the right to personal autonomy.” But it argued that those relationships do not require the courts or the state to formally recognize them as marriage.

Nonetheless, the court said its decision should not have any impact on the state legislature’s right to provide equal rights to same-sex couples if it sees fit.

The top courts of New York and Washington states have ruled it is constitutional to bar same-sex couples from marrying.

John Lestitian, one of the plaintiffs, called the decision a “bump in the road” but pledged that the gay and lesbian community would continue its fight. He said campaigners would now turn to the state legislature in their effort to legalize gay marriage…

David Rocah, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued for the plaintiffs, called the decision — which he said cannot be appealed — “a bitter disappointment.” But he said a bill to allow gay marriage will be introduced into the Maryland legislature early next year…

Always remember that the ACLU is a taxpayer supported “charity” — because of all it does to better our society. 

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 19th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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