If you have been following the news recently, you may have noticed some events that could pave the way for Maryland to join New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and Washington, DC as a place where gays and lesbians can legally marry. New York, California, Rhode Island, New Mexico and Washington, DC currently recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
Senate Bill 116 cleared a key hurdle on February 17, as the Judicial Proceedings Committee voted 7 to 4 to allow the bill to move to the Senate floor for full debate. According to a recent Washington Post story, leadership of both parties expect the bill to pass. If the Senate does pass the bill, it will go to the House of Delegates, which has historically taken a more liberal position on social issues.
I have to say that I am thrilled about this progress. While I wouldn’t trade my more than 20 years of handling family law matters for anything, I wonder how different managing living together arrangements, break-ups, custody, protective and peace orders, mediation, and collaborative law for gay and lesbian individuals and couples would have been had this legislation been passed years ago. It is such welcome news that this bill could offer same sex couples the same legal protection and public respect that their traditional couple counterparts receive.
If you are in need of representation and / or advice in the areas of family law please do not hesitate to contact Mary Ellen Flynn online, or by calling 301-563-6685.