Maryland’s highest court upheld a state law banning same-sex marriage in a 4-3 decision yesterday, claiming that the ban does not discriminate on the basis of gender and does not deny any fundamental rights as guaranteed by the constitution. Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr. did say, however, that the court’s opinion “should by no means be read to imply that the General Assembly may not grant and recognize for homosexual persons civil unions or the right to marry a person of the same sex.”
The plaintiffs in the case, nine same-sex couples and John Lestitian, whose partner passed away in 2004, are not letting this deter them from continuing their fight for equal rights. “We are not going away,” says Lestitian. “My family is the same as the family next door, and to say we are something else is unacceptable.”
Further steps are being taken in the effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland. David Rocah, an attorney for the ACLU which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs, says a bill to allow same-sex marriage will be introduced into the Maryland legislature early in 2008.