Maryland Redefines Marriage

Special Report - February 24, 2012

Maryland is set to become the eighth state in the nation to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, after the state senate approved a marriage redefinition bill last night. The Maryland Senate voted 25 to 22 to approve the bill known as the “Civil Marriage Protection Act of 2012.” The Maryland House approved the bill last week. Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD), who has pledged to sign the bill into law, issued a statement, thanking the senate for its vote, which he called a “vote for human dignity.”

Once the governor signs the measure into law, Maryland will become the eighth state in the nation to redefine marriage, joining the District of Columbia and seven other states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and, most recently, Washington) that issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However, as we previously reported, pro-family advocates in Maryland have vowed to gather enough signatures to put the law on a referendum this November so that the voters will have the opportunity to reject it. To do so, they must gather the signatures of at least 55,726 voters.

“With eight states redefining marriage, the battle to protect the institution of marriage in North Carolina has never been more critical than right now,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “The only way to protect the institution of marriage from redefinition, either by the courts or politicians, is to preserve its definition in our State Constitution. North Carolinians finally have the opportunity to do that this May, and over the next few months, we need to be educating our family, friends and neighbors about the Marriage Protection Amendment, and then get them to the polls to vote with us on May 8.”

In other marriage news, the ongoing legal battle over Proposition 8, California’s marriage amendment, is headed back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Proposition 8 legal defense team is appealing a decision earlier this month by a smaller panel of the Ninth Circuit, which struck down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional, to a full panel of the appeals court. As we previously reported, on February 7, two of three judges on a panel of the Ninth Circuit upheld a district court ruling that Proposition 8 violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. On February 21, the legal defense team, which includes attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), filed a request with the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, asking it to review the decision by the panel and to “reverse the district court’s decision” in the case, Perry v. Brown.

“The people of California deserve to have their marriage amendment defended before the full appeals court,” said ADF Senior Counsel Brian Raum, in a press release. “The panel’s ruling mischaracterized the purpose of marriage, failed to faithfully and fairly interpret the Constitution, and disregarded every relevant appellate and Supreme Court precedent in American history.”

Related Resources:
NJ Gov. Vetoes Marriage Redefinition Bill - February 20, 2012
CA Marriage Amendment Ruled Unconstitutional - February 8, 2012

Copyright © 2012. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.

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