Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler
on Friday said that the marriages of some 1,300 gay and lesbian
couples performed in Utah will be recognized in Maryland.
“I want to make clear that the
same-sex marriages recently entered into in Utah are recognized as
valid here in Maryland,” Gansler, a Democrat running for governor,
said in a written response to a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) request
for the 17 marriage equality states to recognize the Utah marriages.
The marriages were conducted during a
17 day window bookended by a federal judge's ruling striking down
Utah's marriage ban and the Supreme Court putting the judge's order
on hold pending the outcome of an appeal.
On Wednesday, Utah officials said they
were putting the marriages “on hold.” Two days later, the Obama
administration said that the federal government would recognize the
marriages for purposes of federal benefits.
“Although Utah officials have stated
that no new marriages may be solemnized, and that the state would not
recognize the already-solemnized marriages for purposes of providing
additional state benefits, we are not aware of any court ruling or
position of the Utah Attorney General that such marriages are no
longer legally valid. … Because they are valid in the state where
solemnized, Maryland law recognizes these marriages as valid in
Maryland as well.”
concluded: “It is an affront to the idea of basic human rights
that the battle for full marriage equality in this country remains in
headlines and courtrooms. Nevertheless, as courts and legislatures
accord same-sex couples the dignity and humanity they deserve, we as
a nation move closer to fulfilling the Constitution's promise of
equal protection of the law. Maryland will continue to recognize
valid out-of-state same-sex marriages as we continue to advance that
effort wherever and whenever we can.”
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