Friday, May 18, 2012

Maryland Court of Appeals: Maryland Courts Can Divorce Same-Sex Couples; Maryland Legislature Suffers From Multiple Personality Disorder

On May 18, 2012, in Port v. Cowan, the Maryland Court of Appeals decided that parties to a California same-sex marriage could be divorced by a Maryland Circuit Court. The Court decided that based on the doctrine of comity, which allows laws and judicial decisions of one state to be recognized by another state out of deference and respect, the California marriage was subject to dissolution through Maryland’s divorce proceedings. This ruling is based on the Court determining that same-sex marriage is not “repugnant” to the public policy of the State of Maryland.

In making this ruling, the Court of Appeals found that the Maryland Legislature was suffering from “multiple personality disorder.” The Court said that this “lay-diagnosis” is based on the Maryland Code (section 2-201 of the Family Law Article) currently defining marriage as being between only a man and woman; and the many other statutes protecting same-sex couples from discrimination in employment, health care, and estate planning.

A copy of the opinion is here:

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