Wash. Post: Good move by MD’s AG Gansler, ‘a legal compass that should be followed to provide overdue equality’

An editorial in today’s Washington Post thinks the Attorney General of Maryland did the right thing this week:

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL of Maryland does not have the power to legalize same-sex marriage; the legislature almost 40 years ago determined that “only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid in this state.” His opinions do not carry the weight of law; only legislative pronouncements and court rulings do.

What he can do is provide an authoritative reading of what the law commands. That is what Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) has done in concluding that same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions may — and should — be recognized under Maryland law. In the process, he has produced a legal compass that should be followed to provide overdue equality for gay and lesbian couples in Maryland.

The conclusion sends a message to Maryland’s Governor and other elected officials. It’s not enough. It’s not full equality:

Mr. Gansler’s opinion and the possibility that gay couples in Maryland may soon be able to marry in the District are welcome developments. But they are no substitutes for permanent protections in Maryland itself. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) should direct state agencies to begin applying the attorney general’s advice immediately.

Governor O’Malley should push for full equality while he’s at it.

Equality is overdue.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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