Friday, January 20, 2006

Judge Strikes Down Maryland Gay-Marriage Ban

I'll let the Baltimore Sun tell you about it.
A Baltimore Circuit Court judge today struck down Maryland's 33-year-old law against same-sex marriage, ruling in favor of 19 gay men and women who contended the prohibition violated the state's equal rights amendments.

Anticipating that her decision eventually would be appealed to Maryland's highest court, the Court of Appeals, Judge M. Brooke Murdock stayed action on her ruling pending that appeal.

"After much study and serious reflection, this court holds that Maryland's statutory prohibition against same-sex marriage cannot withstand this constitutional challenge," Murdock wrote in her decision. Md. court rules against same-sex marriage ban: Judge says state law 'cannot withstand constitutional challenge'

The argument was hard-fought...
During arguments in August, Assistant Attorney General Steven Sullivan appealed to Murdock not to interject the courts into what he said is a legislative prerogative. Approving marriage of same-sex couples would change "the essence of the institution as it has always existed," he said at the time.

But in her ruling today, Murdock wrote that the law "discriminates based on gender."

"There is no apparent compelling state interest in a statutory prohibition of same-sex marriage discriminating, on the basis of sex, against those individuals whose gender is identical to their intended spouses," Murdock wrote. "Indeed, this court is unable to even find that the prohibition of same-sex marriage rationally relates to a legitimate state interest."

No word yet from the governor on this one, but I don't think there's much question about what his views wil be.
Gov. Robert Ehrlich's spokesman, Henry Fawell, said the Republican governor had heard of the ruling, but had not seen it.

"It has been forwarded to his legal counsel for review," Fawell said. "It would be premature to comment on the ruling at this point, but as the governor has said before, he believes marriage is between one man and one woman."

And yeah, that's right, it often is...

Does anybody have a good explanation for why the government is in the business of defining marriage? Do we really need some politicians to write the dictionary for us?

Well, congratulations to those who have fought so hard for this. As the story says, it's sure to be appealed, but I think over time, as the bricks tumble, we'll see fewer and fewer states setting them back up, once people see that nothing is really hurt by letting people be happy together.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning I received the news in the form of press releases (through news groups). Within minutes I got an email from a friend who was forwarding the story from the Baltimore Sun. She said, "I may possibly soon be able to host my son's wedding!"

The state is appealing the ruling, and I know about counting un-hatched chickens, but this has made some good people very happy today.

The legislature also passed a procedural rule this week requiring that amendments to the state constitution be routed through the Judiciary Committee and be introduced only as independent bills. That means that the strategy of reintroducing marriage limitation bills by tacking them onto other bills as amendments will no longer be allowed. Amendments to the constitution have to be presented as such to the judiciary committee and cannot be snuck past the voters on the tails of other bills.

January 20, 2006 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The decision itself may be found at

January 21, 2006 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great! I'm so sick of the government telling us who we can and can't marry.

I live with three guys and another woman and a dog (blond lab called Lickety). We talked about the six of us getting married but didn't think we had a chance. With this new ruling, I think we have a shot.

I'm just glad we live in a state where the kooks are not in charge. We don't hurt anybody and want to adopt. I'm glad we don't live in a hick state like Virginia. What people do inside their house is not the government's business!!!

January 21, 2006 10:19 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, the way I heard it, everybody was good except the dog didn't want to include you.


January 21, 2006 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon, the way I heard it, everybody was good except the dog didn't want to include you.


We use an animal mind-reader and we know all about what Lickety wants.

January 21, 2006 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that Ehrlick's spokesman is named Fawell? Wonder if he's related to Falwell, the other close-minded idiot that thinks sexual pleashure can only be with one man and one woman. You can have fun alone or with your own gender or another species or a mixture of several other individuals. The Fawells and the Falwellls fall well below the level of intelligence of modern man. If only we could invent a time machine and send them to live happily in Dark Ages!

January 21, 2006 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about this weird lady with the communal marriage idea but I guess it could be valid. Different strokes for different folks!

As a watcher and supporter of TTF though, I'm worried. This judge may start a backlash that could wind up helping Republicans and maybe throwing out the COMAR laws. Gays need to get disciplined and consolidate one victory before moving on with the agenda. Gay marriage later and then, after a while, moving on to the communal marriage concept.

January 21, 2006 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We use an animal mind-reader and we know all about what Lickety wants."

I didn't know there were any animal communicators doing business in this area. Where are they located?

January 21, 2006 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Gays need to get disciplined and consolidate one victory before moving on with the agenda."

You should be careful to avoid this term. The wackos will use it against us. Better to say "plan" instead of "agenda". The nuts are watching! Ding-dong.

January 21, 2006 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know there were any animal communicators doing business in this area. Where are they located?

He's a friend and the only payment he gets is our appreciation.

January 21, 2006 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and he's a poodle. Don't ask- it's complicated.

January 21, 2006 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jokes about communal marriage are just that: Jokes.

But all of us -- straight and gay -- looking for common decency from government at all levels must be prepared to engage in a contentious struggle this year, as those opposed to extending basic rights to gay people seek to use fear and ignorance to scare people at the polls.

January 21, 2006 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well remember on CRC message forum CRC'rs spent a great amount of time talking about marriages to animals if same sex marriages were allowed.

Goes to show how far in the nut side they are on that issue.


January 21, 2006 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These comments are insulting to those who find other kinds of arrangements more fulfilling of our needs. Scientific studies have shown that triangles are the most stable kind of relationship. There's nothing magic in two-person relationships. Your intolerance is indecent.

January 21, 2006 9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

triangles are the most stable

Is that why your head's that shape?

January 21, 2006 9:35 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Anon-I know a lot of yellow labs and they would not want to be involved with the likes of you. Poodles are closely related to labs(this is a fact) and would not be willing to work with you either. They are more respectful and serious animals than you.

January 21, 2006 9:57 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

It seems Michelle Turner is still floundering becuase she doesn't know the meaning of two phrases: erotic techniques and sexual variations. That she doesn't know what erotic techniques means is absurd on the face of it. As the Supreme Court has famously remarked about obscenity, "I'll know it when I see it." But if she wants a definition, I suggest "any act on the part of one person to provide sexual pleasure to another."

As for sexual variations, this is both a smokescreen and a fair question. So I'll just provide my definition: the spectrum of variance in any and all aspects of the human being in issues relating to sex and gender.

These would include the spectrum of chromosomal and genetic differences, gender identity, sexual orientation, body morphology, hormonal system structure and function, brain sex, and the social expressions of sex and gender throughout human life.

As one can see, that's a pretty extensive listing, and one could study this one's entire life and still find new things to think about.

Of course, we all know what Ms. Turner wants --no recognition that there is anything but some ideal vanilla man and woman who are interested only in each other. They must be XY and XX, with a specific genetic makeup and expression, have the ideal body types with no variation in menstrual cycle or development of secondary sexual characteristics (I suppose in her mind all women must look like Barbie), and most importantly, these two distinct categories of human being must behave in ways proscribed for them by the Christian Bible as interpreted by the CRC. Any deviation from the above deserves punishment -- at a minimum, social ostracism and humiliation, denial of basic human rights and the protections of the Constitution.

January 22, 2006 9:58 AM  
Blogger digger said...

Anonymous' comments equating same-gender relationships with sex with animals are not jokes. They're instances of bare-faced, unabashed bigotry.


January 22, 2006 11:35 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anonymous' comments equating same-gender relationships with sex with animals are not jokes. They're instances of bare-faced, unabashed bigotry.

Of course you're right, Robert. The question though is how to deal with that. You don't think you could win an argument with this guy, do you? Obviously, in dealing with him we are not in the realm of reason, there's no point in trying to talk sense to him. I don't think we need to take people like that seriously, I'd rather just joke 'em if they insist on talking like that. The guy's a buffoon, I don't see any reason to engage him in a discussion.


January 22, 2006 12:50 PM  
Blogger digger said...

I agree. Anon seems to be on this blog not to discuss but for some sort of ego-driven stimulation. Humor puts him (her) in his place.


January 23, 2006 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys:

Haven't been on the last week or so but I see there have been some interesting developments. I don't know if this lady is a hoax or the real thing but the point is interesting. Given your rhetoric, why is that other sexual variations than homosexuality aren't appropriate topics for high school sex-ed? What sets it apart?

January 23, 2006 2:32 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

I don't know what "lady" you are referring to, but I will respond anyway. As I have mentioned elsewhere, there are numerous sexual variations. I'm all in favor of teaching a chapter on human sexual development in biology class. The fact is, all we've got time for is ninety minutes total in the sex-ed class, and there are priorities. I wish this stuff was taught in high school as well as college, but oftentimes it isn't even taught in med school, leaving most physicians quite ignorant as well.

January 23, 2006 4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, OK. Its fair to say, then, that you're in favor of teaching all sexual variations, and allocating the proper time for this in the high school curriculum?

January 24, 2006 10:16 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Anon, it's not possible to teach "all" of anything. Don't you read what I write?
I am for teaching human sexual development at the appropriate level for the appropriate age. I believe high schoolers are quite capable of learning that human sexuality is made up of many components, and that variations in development lead to differences in sexual identity and sexual orientation, as well as differences in body structure and function.

Is that so hard to understand?

January 24, 2006 4:29 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Yes, it is a.) hard for the anons to understand anything b.)they don't actually read what is written- they just see the little words already going around in their heads


January 25, 2006 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And now for a musical interlude:

Oh, Danny Boy

The pipes, the pipes are calling

from glen to glen

and every shore to shore

January 25, 2006 10:34 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Now at least I know you're Irish. That narrows things down a bit. Hey, maybe you're Paul McHugh? Makes sense.

January 26, 2006 8:14 PM  

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