Port v. Cowan — an update
In a previous post I briefly wrote about the saga of Port v. Cowan, a same-sex divorce case that was headed to Maryland’s highest court. The parties wed in a civil ceremony in California during the brief time same-sex unions were legal in that state, but their marriage subsequently went sour and they sought a divorce in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The circuit court dismissed their claim, ruling that the state did not recognize their marriage as legal.
On May 18, 2012, the Maryland Court of Appeals issued its decision, which overruled the circuit court’s ruling and instructed it to grant the parties’ divorce. The rationale is that Maryland courts only fail to recognize otherwise valid out-of-state marriages if they’re contrary to public policy, and they did not consider gay marriage as such. The decision was hailed as a victory by gay rights advocates, and comes as Maryland faces an Election Day referendum on a same-sex marriage law passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley.
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