Monday, December 31, 2012
Numerous key laws passed in 2012 by the Maryland General Assembly take effect on Jan. 1.
Same-sex marriage, a first-in-the-nation arsenic ban for chicken feed and a law designed to protect children's credit reports are among the Maryland laws taking effect on Jan. 1. Some, including the marriage law and a Baltimore City charter amendment, were passed by voters in November. Others tweak existing rules, like renewable energy credits and car insurance. Here are the key laws you need to know about that take effect, according to a Maryland General Assembly document. Same-sex marriage: The Civil Marriage Protection Act, passed in the 2012 session, petitioned to referendum and ratified by Maryland voters in November, takes effect as scheduled on Jan. 1. Maryland was one of the first three states to ratify same-sex marriage at the …
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Thursday is the first day Maryland's circuit courts could start issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
Timonium residents Bruce Eicher and Jorge Gaitan went to Baltimore County Circuit Court Thursday afternoon to get a marriage license—at the advice of their lawyer. "He said it was safer. If one of us died, we want to make sure the other is taken care of," said Eicher, who is 80 years old. Thursday marked the first day same-sex couples in Maryland could obtain a marriage license, but Baltimore County's gay and lesbian residents didn't appear to be in a huge rush late in the day. An employee at the licensing department in circuit court declined to comment on the number of same-sex couples who had sought licenses on Thursday. Eicher and Gaitan, a 67-year-old native of Colombia, were one of a few couples to obtain a marriage license at the …
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
The younger you are, the more likely you are to support same-sex marriage. What does this mean for Maryland?
Based on Maryland's age distribution and a changing national attitude on same sex marriage, one could expect–surprise–a close referendum fight in November. Earlier this week, you may have read that increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage is not the result of a nationwide change of heart, but because those opposed tend to be older and are literally dying off. A study by the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life found that the increase of acceptance for same-sex marriage is the result of changing, aging demographics and "generational replacement," defined by Pew as "the arrival of younger, more supportive generations making up a larger share of the population." Nationally, 48 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, up from 35 …
Thursday, May 31, 2012
The marriage equality law passed by the Maryland legislature this year could be headed to referendum in November.
Opponents to Maryland's marriage equality law, which would legalize the marriage of same-sex couples, on Tuesday turned in more than 112,000 signatures, or around twice the number they needed, to send the law to referendum in November. The Maryland Catholic Conference and the Maryland Marriage Alliance joined forces to collect the signatures necessary to put the decision in the hands of Maryland voters. The Maryland State Board of Elections has about three weeks to verify the signatures. If the law goes to referendum, how will you vote? Take our poll and start a conversation in the comments section.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
In an interview on ABC News, the president says he supports same-sex marriage. The issue is likely to go to referendum in Maryland this fall.
President Barack Obama picked the day after a decisive vote in North Carolina to announce that his "evolution" on the issue of same-sex marriage was complete—he now supports it. In an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, Obama said: I have to tell you that over the course of several years, as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage—at a …
Friday, March 2, 2012
Same-sex couples wait to get married in Maryland as opponents seek to have the issue placed on the November ballot.
Alicia Wernick and Lori Brennan watched the news with pride Thursday as Gov. Martin O’Malley officially made Maryland the eighth state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage. Wernick and Brennan have been in a relationship for eight years and have looked forward to the day when they could get married in their home state. At the same time, the Essex couple understands they have to temper their emotions, as having same-sex marriage weddings actually performed in Maryland isn't a sure thing—yet. Follow Essex-Middle River Patch on Facebook and Twitter. Some supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage say they believe voters will likely decide the issue in November. Meanwhile, some who are against same-sex marriage have vowed to get the…
Friday, February 24, 2012
Del. John Olszewski Jr. outlines his reasoning for voting "yes" on same-sex marriage after years of being opposed to it.
[Last week], the House of Delegates considered the Civil Marriage Protection Act, legislation that would grant same-sex couples access to a Maryland marriage certificate. I voted for this legislation, and wanted to take the time to explain why. First, I would like to say that I am proud to be a Christian, and that my faith is important to me. As such, I have always tried to strike a balance between providing equal rights under the law and ensuring that religious freedoms remain wholly intact. While members of my United Methodist church—and many communities—disagree over the issue of marriage equality, I could find no compelling reason to deny other individuals access to the same rights and responsibilities that are given to me and my …
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Law goes to governor for signature and a likely referendum challenge.
The Maryland State Senate passed same-sex marriage by a 25-22 vote Thursday night. The passage of the bill comes less than a week after the House of Delegates passed the identical bill. The bill now goes to Gov. Martin O'Malley for his signature. The law, which goes into effect January 1, 2013 is expected to face a referendum challenge and could end up on the November ballot along with the bill that grants in-state tuition rates to some children of illegal immigrants. How they Voted: Baltimore City William Ferguson How They Voted: Baltimore County
Follow along with Patch and other area reporters as the Maryland Senate takes up the bill.
A bill to allow same-sex marriage in Maryland is now being debated in the Maryland Senate. Follow along with Tweets from Patch's Bryan P. Sears other area reporters, and join in with your thoughts. Listen to live Senate proceedings on the General Assembly website.
Friday, February 17, 2012
House Minority Leader Anthony O'Donnell says proponents have the votes needed for passage later this afternoon.
The Maryland House of Delegates appears poised to pass same-sex marriage legislation when it meets late Friday afternoon. "(Proponents) have secured the final vote," said Del. Anthony O'Donnell, the House minority leader. Del. Tiffany Alston, a Prince George's County Democrat who previously opposed the bill and voted against it in committee, emerged from House Speaker Michael E. Busch's office and later offered a two-part amendment. The first part prevents the law from going into effect if there is pending court litigation. A second part of the amendment would require judges to strike down the entire law should any part of it be illegal. "(Alston's) vote was contingent on the passing of that amendment," said O'Donnell. Following the nearly…