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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Baltimore Judge Invalidates Same-Sex Marriage Ban

"This Court holds that Maryland’s statutory prohibition against same-sex marriage cannot withstand this constitutional challenge. Family Law § 2-201 violates Article 46 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights because it discriminates, based on gender, against a suspect class; and is not narrowly tailored to serve any compelling governmental interests. Section 2-201 bars a man from marrying a male partner when a woman would enjoy the right to marry that same male partner. As compared to the woman, the man is disadvantaged solely because of his sex. There is [also] no apparent compelling state interest in a statutory prohibition of same-sex marriage discriminating... against those individuals whose gender is identical to their intended spouses. Indeed, this Court is unable to even find that the prohibition of same-sex marriage rationally relates to a legitimate state interest." Judge M. Brooke Murdock, Baltimore City Circuit Court, January 20, 2006

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