Friday, November 30, 2012

Maryland: Same-sex couples can marry Jan. 1, 2013

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said on Thursday same-sex couples can begin to marry in the state on Jan. 1.

He wrote in a 19-page opinion that clerks can begin to issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians as soon as Dec. 6, as long as they don’t take effect until the same-sex marriage law takes effect at the start of the new year. A 1999 law states a marriage license is not valid until 6 a.m. on the second calendar day after a clerk issues it.

Gansler concluded this requirement does not “expressly prohibit licenses becoming effective after that time.”

“Although there is a legal reason why same-sex couples cannot be licensed to marry before midnight on Jan. 1, 2013…, there is no such legal reason why they should not be licensed to marry at any time after the moment the law takes effect,” he wrote.
 
The same-sex marriage law voters approved by a 52-48 percent margin earlier this month is scheduled to take effect on a legal holiday when clerks’ offices are typically closed. It was previously believed the earliest a same-sex couple would have been able to legally marry under Maryland law was 6 a.m. on Jan. 4.

(via Washington Blade)
Site Meter