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.