State agencies in Maryland must now recognize out-of-state gay marriages until the Legislature or courts decide otherwise, Maryland's attorney general said Wednesday after issuing a long-awaited legal opinion.
UPDATE 5/11/10: Poll shows residents split on same-sex marriage
-- From "Md. AG: Gay marriage must be recognized" by Associated Press 2/25/10
[Attorney General Doug] Gansler's opinion concluded that the state's highest court likely would rule that legal gay marriages in other states are valid in Maryland, but he noted the matter "is not free from all doubt."
Maryland law defines marriage as between a man and woman, but Gansler wrote that the state generally acknowledges couples married elsewhere. Maryland is one of six states that does not specifically address the validity of same-sex marriages from other states.
Delegate Donald Dwyer, an Anne Arundel County Republican who adamantly opposes recognition of same-sex marriages, said Gansler should be impeached for issuing the opinion, which he said "circumvents and usurps the authority of the Maryland General Assembly."
Recent legislation has failed that would have explicitly stated in law that same-sex marriages valid in other states would not be recognized in Maryland.
Measures to allow gay marriages also have failed, but Maryland lawmakers have extended protections to same-sex couples.
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