State Laws and Legislation

Maryland Marriage/Relationship Recognition Law

Licenses marriages for same-sex couples? No.
On Jan. 20, 2006, a trial court ruled in Deane & Polyak v. Conaway that denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates the Maryland Constitution. On September 18, 2007, the Maryland Court of Appeals overruled the trial court and held that same-sex couples do not have the equal right to marry under the state constitution.

Honors marriages of same-sex couples from other jurisdictions? Perhaps
On February 24, 2010, Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler issued an advisory legal opinion analyzing Maryland’s marriage comity laws and concluding that the state can recognize marriages between two people of the same sex performed outside of the state. In a follow up press conference, AG Gansler announced agencies should begin affording those same-sex couples rights. Implementation will not be immediate and is likely be subject to a court challenge.

Any form of statewide relationship recognition for same-sex couples? Yes.
Effective July 1, 2008, domestic partners, as defined by statute, are entitled to 11 protections available to spouses, including the right to visit one another in the hospital, the right to share a room in a nursing home, and the right to make funeral decisions. Public Law Number 590 Also effective July 1, 2008, domestic partners, as defined by statute, are included in the list of family members that can be added to or removed from a deed to residential property without incurring a recordation or transfer tax. Public Law Number 599.

Citation: Public Law Numbers 590, 599 (2008).

Updated: Tue, March 02, 2010 - 12:00:15