Monday, December 04, 2006
Maryland Court of Appeals hears argument on gay marriage
The Maryland Court of Appeals will hear argument today, December 4, at 10 A.M. E.S.T. on whether state law prohibits gay marriage.
The argument will be carried live on the Web. The court website warns that the live webcast of the argument is part of a pilot project and may suffer glitches.
The case is Conway v. Deane, No. 44 September term 2006. Briefs in the case are available here.
The plaintiffs are gay and lesbian couples who sued county officials who refused to give them marriage licenses. Maryland passed a law back in 1973 declaring marriage as between one man and one woman. In recent years, though, Maryland has also passed laws prohibiting discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. The plaintiffs are arguing that the law is unconstitutional under the state constitution.
A trial court in Baltimore ruled for the plaintiffs back in January, finding that the law was discriminatory. The Court of Appeals -- Maryland's highest court -- took a direct appeal from the county officials who were sued.
The Washington Post story gives the case a human feel by focusing on a 73-year-old former civil rights activist who is one of the plaintiffs along with his partner of 28 years.
I don't know enough about the Maryland Court of Appeals to call this case -- I don't follow their rulings closely enough to know anything about the justices. But I do recall being surprised by their rulings from time to time. My guess? Anything could happen.