Lambda Legal Urges Maryland Counties to Recognize Out-of-State Marriages of Same-Sex Couples

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June 27, 2012

Lambda Legal sent letters today to the leaders of 20 Maryland counties asking for confirmation that it is county policy to recognize out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples, including for purposes of county employee spousal benefits.

You can read the letter here.

In May, Maryland's highest court unanimously ruled that marriages of same-sex couples are entitled to recognition under Maryland law. In addition, Lambda Legal has secured victories winning important spousal benefits for government employees in Baltimore and Washington counties and the Anne Arundel Public School System. In today's letter, Lambda Legal asks counties that have not yet confirmed they extend spousal benefits to employees with same-sex spouses to do so by July 27.

Lambda Legal's Senior Counsel and Director of Constitutional Litigation, Susan Sommer, says:

Now that the high court of Maryland has confirmed that out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples are entitled to legal recognition, all counties remaining in the state without policies recognizing these marriages should confirm they follow state law on this issue. With recent victories we have been chipping away at discrimination in Maryland, but we now call on all counties to get on the right side of the law and respect same-sex spouses married out-of-state.

While Maryland same-sex couples should be able to marry in their home state, those who have married elsewhere are entitled to recognition of their spouses and protections for their families. We hope the recently enacted Maryland marriage law will soon take effect, but whatever happens at the ballot box in November, out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples must be given legal respect.