Maryland, My Maryland

March 1st, 2010

Inspired by Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler’s opinion to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions, as reported in Maryland AG Release Opinion on Marriage (Metro Weekly 2/25/10), Bucking the inertia on same-sex marriage: Gansler’s decision on gay rights jumped Md. Legislature’s cautious political track (Washington Post 3/01/10).

Thank you, Attorney General Gansler:

For marriage equality in Maryland, you’ve come up with the answer.

Maryland is Democrat, but of the Blue Dog variety

(Not to mention there’s a lot of religious piety).

Cultural differences between different parts of the state

Tend to lead to long debate.

Politics usually moves at a crawl,

And things change slowly, if at all.

That’s why Gansler’s move was a surprise

For gay rights activists and their allies.

The decision came in response to a inquiry

From State Senator Dick Madaleno from Montgomery

(Senator Madaleno is openly gay,

But I don’t think that made the difference either way).

Blue Dog (emphasis on the latter) State Rep. Emmett Burns

Has previously about the issue expressed his concerns.

He authored a bill to ban out-of-state gay marriage recognition,

But the bill failed to reach fruition.

There’s now a similar bill in the State Senate

(Blue Dog Norm Stone is the one that penned it).

But it’s unlikely to pass

Because opponents can’t enough votes amass.

Similarly, full marriage equality measures haven’t gone anywhere

Because the votes in support aren’t there.

The General Assembly voted to continue interdiction

And the State Court of Appeals found no Constitutional contradiction.

So neither side could move

The situation to (from their perspective) improve.

Madaleno asked Gansler for his ruling

To do an end run around the legislative dueling.

The question was, based on current legal authority,

Would Maryland courts to other states provide comity.

Because the presumption is that they should,

Gansler stated in his opinion that they would.

The Post said the decision jumped MD’s cautious political track,

But still may be subject to political and legal attack.

Unless that succeeds, the decision is a binding fait accompli,

Which sounds pretty good to me.

The move may help Gansler politically, or he might be through,

But either way, it was the right thing to do.


Here’s the Maryland 97th Regimental String Band singing the state song from which this post takes its name. It’s actually a pretty politically incorrect song—the “tyrant” referred to is Lincoln, and there’s a reference to “Northern scum” and joining sister state Virginia in the Confederacy’s rebellion against the Constitution. Thankfully, they didn’t, neither then nor now.

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2 Responses to “Maryland, My Maryland”

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