Rainbow Law has a document package designed to protect same-sex partners in Maryland. We offer 9 unique Affordable Document Packages, Individual Legal Documents and FREE Advance Directives to help protect your rights and the rights of your family. To order a legal document package that complies with Maryland law, hover your mouse over the “Buy A Package” link in the top menu and click on the package that best suits your needs in the drop-down list. If you’re not sure what package is right for you, click this link and we’ll help you figure out what you need.
Maryland recognizes the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry. And because the US Supreme Court overturned parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal government also recognizes LGBT marriages. This means same-sex married couples living in Maryland are eligible for all rights and benefits afforded to heterosexual married couples.
Here is a run-down on Maryland law affecting the LGBTQ community:
1 Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships: Same-sex marriage has been legal since January 1, 2013. In 2012, Governor Martin O’Malley introduced a same-sex marriage bill to the Maryland General Assembly. After much debate, the law permitting same-sex marriage, known as the Civil Marriage Protection Act, was approved by the House of Delegates in a 72–67 vote on February 17, 2012 and approved by the Senate in a 25–22 vote on February 23, 2012. Governor O’Malley signed the law on March 1, 2012. The law took effect on January 1, 2013 after 52.4% of voters approved a statewide same-sex marriage referendum held on November 6, 2012. The vote was hailed as a watershed moment by gay rights activists and marked the first time marriage rights in the United States have been extended to same-sex couples by popular vote.
Before repealing the ban on same-sex marriage, Maryland was the first state to define marriage as a union between a man and woman in a 1973 statute.
To date, sixteen states – CA, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, ME, MD, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT, and WA – plus Washington, D.C. have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
2 Adoption Law: Maryland state law permits any adult to petition to adopt and recognizes same-sex couples as co-parents.
3 Anti-Discrimination Law: State law protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Some jurisdictions—Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, and Montgomery County—also protect against discrimination based on gender identity. Nineteen of the 20 remaining counties without protections do not have the authority to establish them, meaning that a statewide bill is needed to prohibit discrimination against transgender people in those counties. Senate Bill 449, titled the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2013,was introduced in January 2013, aiming to amend the state anti-discrimination law to include gender identity. On March 14, 2013, the bill was rejected 6-5 in a Senate committee, despite having 23 senators as cosponsors and needing a single additional vote to pass.
4 Sodomy Law: All laws against private consensual sex were overturned by Maryland state courts.
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