[Family Policy Network] - Maryland’s highest court has upheld a state statute that defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. On September 18th, 2007, the Maryland Court of Appeals reaffirmed the state’s long-standing marriage statute by overturning a lower circuit court’s January 2006 decision that would have allowed homosexuals to “marry”.
In the 4-3 decision, the Court of Appeals cited the government’s interest in “safeguarding an environment most conducive to the stable propagation and continuance of the human race” as a reason for the decision. The court further concluded that since homosexual practices do not qualify as “immutable characteristics”, there is no “fundamental right to marry” afforded to homosexuals.
The ruling is a victory for pro-family citizens in Maryland and around the country; it comes during a period when homosexual activists have been gaining ground in states such as New York, Iowa, and California (see related stories below).
The following are excerpts from an article appearing in the Washington Times on September 19th, 2007.
“Maryland’s highest court backs limits on marriage”
By Tom LoBianco, The Washington Times – September 19, 2007
Maryland’s highest court ruled yesterday that marriage can be only between one man and one woman.
The Maryland Court of Appeals decision overturns a lower-court ruling that would have allowed homosexuals to “marry” and upholds a 1973 state law limiting marriage to between one man and one woman.
“It is a wonderful day. This is great news,” said Delegate Don Dwyer Jr., Anne Arundel Republican, who has introduced a constitutional amendment to ban homosexual “marriage” for three consecutive years in the Assembly.
Four judges on the seven-member panel ruled the state’s 1972 Equal Rights Amendment did not apply to sexual orientation. Three judges, including Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, dissented.
[Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr.] wrote that sexual orientation does not qualify as an “immutable characteristic” the same way that race or ethnicity does in determining equal rights under the law.
Nine homosexual couples sued Baltimore City in 2005 for denying them marriage licenses.
Baltimore Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdock ruled the city denied the plaintiffs their constitutional rights based on gender discrimination, but the state appealed the ruling last year and won the case yesterday.
< end of excerpts from article >
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