I read the news coverage four times. I had thought for certain that the Court of Appeals, the highest court in my home state of Maryland, would agree with a Baltimore judge's decision that barrring citizens from the institution of civil marriage based on gender is wrong. The decision has been pending for much longer than usual and I allowed myself to think they were working out the kinks of what would surely be a high-profile decision.
I was let down by the decision they handed down.
In a split 4-3 decision, the court ruled that gay and lesbian couples are not entitled to marriage. They did, however, point out that the General Assembly could grant it to them anyway. In his dissent, Justice Raker has this to say:
“It cannot be argued that same-sex couples are not denied significant benefits accorded to heterosexual couples. It is clear that there are significant differences in the benefits provided to married couples and same-sex couples in the areas of taxation, business regulation, secured commercial transactions, spousal privilege and other procedural matters, education, estates and trusts, family law, decision-making regarding spousal health care, insurance, labor and employment, child care and child rearing, pensions, and the responsibilities attendant to spousal funeral arrangements.”
I now place my trust in the Maryland lawmakers, that they will recognize this inequality and swiftly rectify it. And I trust the people of Maryland will not stand for anything less. It is moments like this that make contacting your representatives or standing up for equal rights even more important.