Laws

United States of America

MARYLAND

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Bullying
  Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Discrimination
Estates, Property
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
  Hate Crimes
Health, Medical
HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Inheritance, Succession
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
  Parenting
Partners
Property
Sodomy
Taxation
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

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Aging, Bioethics, Health, MedicalLegislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 22 July 2014, FreeState Legal announced that the State had removed a provision that excluded coverage for any “procedure or treatment designed to alter an individual's physical characteristics to those of the opposite sex” from all health plans in the state employee health benefits program. The new gender dysphoria benefit provides coverage for medically necessary transition-related care, including hormone replacement therapy and certain surgical treatments [R1.1].

R1.1 TheAdvocate: Maryland to Provide Transition Care to Trans State Employees 22 JUL 14
Assisted Reproduction Technology
Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation
Surrogacy
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 24 March 2015, the Senate passed 37-10 bill SB416 that will require health insurers to extend to married same-sex couples the same health care benefits for artificial insemination as heterosexual couples. On 22 March 2015, the House passed 94-44 a similar Bill HB838. If signed into law by the Governor the Act will come into effect 01 July 2015 [R1.1].

R1.1 LGBTQnation: Maryland Senate OKs artificial insemination healthcare bill for same-sex couples 24 MAR 15
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 07 July 2016, the Maryland Court of Appeal in Conover v. Conover ruled unanimously in favor of recognizing the parent-child relationships of de facto parents who lack a biological or adoptive relationship with their children [C1.7], [R1.6].

On 26 August 2015, Judge Zarnoch for the Maryland Special Appeals Court ruled that Michelle Conover has no right to visitation or custody of Jaxon Conover who her divorced partner Brittany Conover gave birth to before the couple married in the District of Columbia on 28 September 2010, though they were partners mid-2002, there were a number of 'breaks'. The child was conceived by artificial insemination and born 04 April 2010 [C1.5], [R1.4].

In June 2006, the Maryland court of appeals ruled that a gay father should be given a chance to present evidence that his son was harmed by a Virginia court ruling that he would have to give up custody of the boy unless his partner moved out of the house [R1.3].

In May 2000, a Maryland appeals court ruled that a lesbian has the right to visit the child of her ex-partner, giving gays and lesbians similar legal rights to that of a step-parent [R1.2].

In December 1998, the Court of Appeals ruled that trial judges can draw no distinctions between homosexual and heterosexual parents when restricting visits with their children. The relevance of a parent's sexual conduct to visitation is whether that conduct is harmful to the children's well-being [R1.1].

C1.7 Opinion: Conover v. Conover No. 79 PDF 131.88kgs 07 JUL 16
R1.6 FreeState (PressRelease): Victory: Marylandís Highest Court Rules in Favor of De Facto Parentage for Same-Sex Couples, in Case Brought by FreeState Justice PDF 306.48kb 07 JUL 16
C1.5 Opinion: Michelle L Conover v. Brittany D Conover No. 2099 PDF 228.16kb, 26 AUG 15
R1.4 LGBTQnation: Court: No visitation rights for woman after same-sex divorce 02 SEP 15
R1.3 The Advocate: Gay Father Will Get His Day in Court 18 JUN 06
R1.2 Associated Press: High Court Rules Lesbian Can Visit Child of Ex-partner 03 MAY 00
R1.1 Baltimore Sun: Court Says Visitation Cannot be Barred Based on Parent's Sexual Orientation 19 DEC 98
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MARRIAGE]
1.

State

On 03 May 2013, it was reported that the O'Malley administration had notified state employees in same-sex relationships that they won't be able to include domestic partners in their health insurance after 01 January 2014 (date subject to change). If they want coverage, they'll have to get married [R1.2].

Effective 01 July 2008, Senate Bill 566 gave domestic partners certain rights regarding health care facility visitation, nursing home accommodation, medical decisions and in making funeral arrangments [R1.1].

2.

County

On 28 June 2016, Montgomery County Council voted 6-3 to repeal a law that says domestic partners can receive benefits if their partner is a county employee, the majority in favor of the repeal saying that same sex couples are allowed to legally marry, there's no need for the law, the minority argued that marriage isn't for everyone [R2.3].

From 01 January 2013, legally married same-sex spouses of Charles County government employees will be eligible for most benefits afforded spouses of the opposite sex [R2.2].

From 01 January 2011, Montgomery County employers will be/were required to give the same benefits to a worker with a domestic partner as a married employee under the Equal Benefits Law, also known as the Domestic Partner Benefits Law [R2.1].

3.

Cities & Towns

Baltimore and Takoma Park have enacted similar laws [R5.1].

4.

Corporations & Institutions

Other large Maryland employers such Marriott International, Discovery Channel and Johns Hopkins University offer similar benefits [R5.1].

5.

Courts & Tribunals

On 22 November 2011, Lambda Legal reported that Baltimore County must grant equal employment benefits to same-sex couples, as a result of a binding arbitration decision involving Baltimore County police officers Margaret Selby and Jaunika Ballard, who had been denied benefits coverage for their same-sex spouses. The arbitrator agreed that denying spousal benefits to these married police officers was discriminatory and contrary to the County's agreement to give benefits to spouses legally recognized under Maryland law. [R5.2].


On 14 June 2002, Maryland's Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a Montgomery County law extending health insurance benefits to domestic partners of county employees [R5.1].

The Montgomery law had been unsuccessfully challenged by the American Center for Law and Justice

R1.2 The Baltimore Sun: With same-sex marriage now available, state to end benefits for domestic partners 03 MAY 13
R1.1 SB566: Health Care Facility Visitation and Medical Decisions – Domestic Partners PDF 53.91kb, 20 MAR 08
R2.3 Montgomery County Council repeals domestic partnership benefits law 28 JUN 16
R2.2 SoMD News: County extends benefits to same-sex spouses 24 OCT 12
R2.1 The Examiner: Montgomery to implement same-sex benefits law 22 DEC 10
R5.2 Lambda Legal: Lambda Legal Secures Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses of Baltimore County Police Officers 22 NOV 11
R5.1 Washington Post: Maryland Court Backs Benefits for Workers' Partners 15 JUN 02
Washington Post: Virginia Justices Strike Down Benefits for Partners 22 APR 00
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

In March 2001, after a 10-year campaign the General Assembly approved the Anti-Discrimination Act of 2001.

Under Section 1 Paragraph 8 (a) of the legislation "It is unlawful for any person, business, corporation, partnership, copartnership or association or any other individual, agent, employee, group or firm which is licensed or regulated by a unit in the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation as set out in ß 2-108 of the Business Regulation Article to refuse, withhold from, deny or discriminate against any person the accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, sales, or services because of the race, sex, creed, color, national origin, marital status, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, or disability of any person [L1.10].

Transgendered people are not protected by this statute. However, see [R1.5].

There are certain exemptions granted in Section 1. Paragraph 18 (2) to "A religious corporation, association, educational institution or society with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion", Paragraph 21 to certain private landlords and private sellers of real estate and in Section 3 to Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts.

The measure was to take effect from 1 October however, a coalition of religious and family-values groups gathered enough voter signatures to force a referendum in November next year [R1.9].

Subsequently a special Court master reviewed the validity of more than 47,000 signatures gathered by opponents of the new law [R1.8] finding that hundreds - more than enough to keep the referendum off the ballot - were gathered improperly and were potentially invalid [R1.7].

As a consequence, the anti-gay group finally admited defeat and the Maryland gay rights law came into effect 21 November 2001 [R1.6].


In April 2011, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee passed to a full vote the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act. The Act if passed, will cover employment, housing and credit, but leaves public accommodations (which includes rest room) up to the individual businesses [R1.5].

In May 2001, Gov. Parris N. Glendening signed legislation yesterday making Maryland the 12th state to ban discrimination against homosexuals [R1.4].

In April 2001, the Maryland state Senate has voted to approve a law protecting gay men and lesbians against discrimination [R1.3].

In September 2000, Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D) announced creation of a task force to study discrimination against gay men and lesbians [R1.2].

In March 1999, the House of Delegates voted to approve legislation to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation [R1.1].

2.

County

On 21 February 2012, Baltimore County Council passed the human rights bill with a vote of 5 to 2, adding gender identity and sexual orientation to the existing law [R2.1].

As at 22 November 2001, a similar ban is on the books in Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's counties [R1.6].

3.

Cities & Towns

On 02 December 2013, the City of Hyattsville council voted unanimously to add a Human Rights Charter to city ordinances, strengthening protections against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or physical characteristics, in employment, housing, real estate transactions and public accommodations [L3.3], [R3.2].

On 25 November 2002, gender identity or expression has now been added [R3.1].

In 1988, Baltimore outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, physical or mental disability and sexual orientation.

4.

Courts & Tribunals

On 24 May 2016, it was reported that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a Maryland employer have settled for about $200,000 one of the agency's first lawsuits against a private employer alleging that sexual orientation bias violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Pallet Companies unlawfully discriminated against Yolanda Boone on the basis of her sex by subjecting her to harassment [C4.2], [R4.1].

L1.10 Antidiscrimination Act of 2001
R1.9 Baltimore Sun: Gay Rights Law Set for Referendum 20 JUL 01
R1.8 The Capital: Court Master to Review Validity of Autographs in Gay Rights Lawsuit 02 SEP 01
R1.7 Baltimore Sun: Opponents of Gay Rights Law Appear Ready to Halt Efforts 21 NOV 01
R1.6 Baltimore Sun: Gay Rights Now Law 22 NOV 01
R1.5 LezGet Real: Gender Anti-Discrimination Bill Advances In Maryland Senate 09 APR 11
R1.4 Associated Press: Gay Rights Tops List of New Laws 16 MAY 01
R1.3 B.News.S: Maryland Rights Law 12 APR 01
R1.2 Washington Post: Task Force to Study Anti-Gay Bias 27 SEP 00
R1.1 Baltimore Sun: Gay-rights Bill OK'd by House 25 MAR 99
R2.1 ABC2News: Transgender bill passes through Council 21 FEB 12
L3.3 Ordinance 2013-04: Hyattsville Human Rights Act PDF 1.90MB 05 DEC 13
R3.2 City of Hyattsville: Hyattsville Makes History 02 DEC 13
R3.1 Baltimore Sun: City OKs Bill Outlawing Bias Against Transsexuals 26 NOV 02
C4.2 Consent Decree: US Equal Opportunity Commission v. Pallet Companies No. 1:16-cv-00595-CCB PDF 100.95kb, 23 JUN 16
R4.1 BloomburgBNA: EEOC Settles One of Its First Sexual Orientation Lawsuits 24 JUN 16

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Estates, Inheritances, Property, Succession, WillsLegislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On May 4, 2017, Maryland's Governor signed into law H.B. No. 1104, effective 01 July 2017, reducing the evidentiary documentation required from domestic partners to evidence the qualification of their joint primary residence for the Maryland inheritance tax exemption [R1.1].

As of July 1, 2017, to evidence a domestic partnership for purposes of qualifying a joint primary residence for Marylandís inheritance tax exemption, the surviving domestic partner can provide EITHER (1) an affidavit signed under penalty of perjury by the two individuals stating that they established a domestic partnership (DP affidavit) OR (2) any two of the following documents of proof (DP proof documents):

  • Joint liability of the individuals for a mortgage, lease, or loan;
  • Designation of one of the individuals as the primary beneficiary under a life insurance policy on, or a retirement plan of, the other;
  • Designation of one of the individuals as the primary beneficiary of the will of the other;
  • Health care or financial durable power of attorney granted by one individual to the other;
  • Joint ownership or lease by the individuals of a motor vehicle;
  • Joint checking account, joint investments, or a joint credit account;
  • Joint renter's or homeownerís insurance policy;
  • Coverage on a health insurance policy;
  • Joint responsibility for child care, such as guardianship or school documents; or
  • Relationship or cohabitation contract.

Maryland law provides that, in a domestic partnership, the inheritance tax will not apply to the surviving domestic partnerís receipt of the predeceasing partnerís interest in the joint primary residence if the property (1) was held as a joint tenancy by both domestic partners at the time of death and (2) passes to or for the use of the surviving domestic partner [R1.1].

R1.1 Lexology: Maryland Reduces Evidentiary Requirements to Exempt Primary Residence of Domestic Partners from Inheritance Tax 21 JUL 17
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 01 October 2015, Act SB0743 came into effect having been enacted on 30 May 2015. The law makes it easier for transgender and intersex people to update the gender designation on their (new) birth certificate to be consistent with their identity without the need for surgery or a court order. A sworn statement from the applicant's doctor or other health care practitioner is required by the Division of Vital Records. In some circumstances, obtaining a court order may be advisable [L1.11].

On 08 April 2015 the legislature was reported to have approved Bills (HB0862, SB0743) enabling transgender people will be able to permanently change the name and gender on their birth certificates without requiring a court order and instead relying on a recommendation from a licensed clinical social worker (on 08 April 2015, the House passed 91-49 Bill SB0743 that the Senate passed 31-16 on 21 March. The Senate passed the second reading on HB0862 on 08 April - third reading details not yet on website) [R1.10].

On 24 March 2015, the House passed 85-50 Bill HB0862 and the Senate passed 31-16 Bill SB0743, that would enable transgender people to apply to change the gender on their birth certificates to reflect their identity if a medical practitioner certifies it is warranted. It is not clear whether Gov. Larry Hogan plans to sign the bill, which still must undergo procedural votes before being sent to him for his signature [R1.9].

On 15 May 2014, Gov. Martin O'Malley signed into law the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 (SB 212), a bill that bans discrimination against transgender Marylanders with regard to public accommodations, housing, and employment and by specified licensed or regulated persons [R1.8]. Effective 01 October 2014.

On 22 March 2014, the House of Delegates passed 82-57 the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 (SB 212). The Bill has already passed in the Senate (32-15) and now goes to Governor Martin O'Malley for signing into law [R1.7].

On 04 March 2014, the Senate passed the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 32-15 [R1.6].

On 28 February 2014, in the 2nd reading the Senate approved the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014. A companion bill (HB 1265) filed in the House is awaiting a committee hearing on 05 March [R1.5].

On 14 January 2014, state senator Rich Madaleno, introduced SB0212 the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014, a bill that would outlaw discrimination against individuals on the basis of gender identity in housing, employment, and public accommodation. The bill mirrors previous legislation that died in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee [L1.4], [R1.3].

Previously:

In April 2011, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee passed to a full vote the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act. The Act if passed, will cover employment, housing and credit, but leaves public accommodations (which includes rest room) up to the individual businesses [R1.2].

On 26 March 2011, the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act HB 235 passed the House of Delegates 86 to 52 in its third and final reading. The measure moved to the Senate [R1.1].

2.

County

On 21 February 2012, Baltimore County Council passed the human rights bill with a vote of 5 to 2, adding gender identity and sexual orientation to the existing law [R2.2].

In 2007, the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed the anti-discrimination law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, and taxi and cable services, but the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal organization, and Maryland Citizens for Responsible Government collected signatures and challenged the law [R2.1].

3.

Cities & Towns

In November 2002, Baltimore City Council passed a bill outlawing discrimination based on "gender identity or expression" [R2.2] in employment, public accommodation, and housing [R3.1].

The measure is aimed at protecting transsexuals who say they are denied jobs and housing, barred from trying on clothing in stores, and harassed by police officers who assume they are prostitutes [R3.2].

4.

Courts & Tribunals

In September 2008, the Maryland's Court of Appeals ruled that an anti-discrimination measure for the Montgomery County transgender community will not appear on the November ballot and must go into effect [R4.3].

In February 2003, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court may provide legal recognition of a transsexual woman's sex change, so long as she provides medical evidence showing a "permanent and irreversible change" [R4.2].

In July 2003, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Eric Johnson signed an order to change Wright's gender legally from man to woman [R4.1].

L1.11 Act: Senate Bill 0743 PDF 169.20kb, 05 JUN 15
R1.10 BaltimoreSun: Legislature approves new birth certificates for transgender people 08 APR 15
R1.9 TheBaltimoreSun: Lawmakers approve new birth certificates for transgender people 24 MAR 15
R1.8 Washington Blade: OíMalley signs Maryland transgender rights bill 15 MAY 14
R1.7 LGBTQ Nation: Maryland House OKs transgender rights bill, governor says he will sign into law 27 MAR 14
R1.6 WashingtonBlade: Maryland Senate approves transgender rights bill 04 MAR 14
R1.5 LGBTQ Nation: Maryland state Senate gives preliminary approval to transgender rights bill 03 MAR 14
L1.4 SB0212: Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 PDF 192.05kb, 16 JAN 14
R1.3 TheAdvocate: Trans Rights Bill Introduced in Maryland 14 JAN 14
R1.2 LezGet Real: Gender Anti-Discrimination Bill Advances In Maryland Senate 09 APR 11
R1.1 The Advocate: Gender Identity Bill Passes Maryland House 26 MAR 11
R2.2 ABC2News: Transgender bill passes through Council 21 FEB 12
R2.1 The Advocate: Maryland Court Rejects Trans Rights Referendum 09 SEP 08
R3.2 Baltimore Sun: City OKs Bill Outlawing Bias Against Transsexuals 26 NOV 02
R3.1 GenderPAC National News: "Chicago, Cook Cty, San Jose Pass Job Laws" 18 DEC 02
R4.3 The Advocate: Maryland Court Rejects Trans Rights Referendum 09 SEP 08
R4.2 GenderPAC National News: GPAC Applauds MD Recognition of Sex Change 18 FEB 03
R4.1 Maryland Gazette: Transsexual Woman Wins Gender Case 04 JUL 03
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

In 2005, hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity considered an aggravating circumstance [R1.2].

Previously:

The House of Delegates voted 90-44 to approve a proposal to expand the state's hate crimes law to gays and lesbians [R1.1].

The measure, which then went to the Senate, would make it a separate crime for someone to obstruct, injure, intimidate or interfere with a person because of their sexual orientation.

R1.2 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R1.1 Baltimore Sun: House OKs expanding hate crime law 20 MAR 03
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

The Maryland Code - Criminal Law provides -

§ 3-322. Sodomy

A person who is convicted of sodomy is guilty of a felony and is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years.[L1.1].

§ 3-322. Unnatural or perverted sexual practice

(a) Prohibited.- A person may not:
(1) take the sexual organ of another or of an animal in the person's mouth;
(2) place the person's sexual organ in the mouth of another or of an animal; or
(3) commit another unnatural or perverted sexual practice with another or with an animal.

(b) Penalty.- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both [L1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

In January 1999, a Baltimore judge handed a victory to privacy and gay-rights advocates, ruling that Maryland's 80-year-old anti-sodomy law cannot apply to consensual acts. The decision by Circuit Court Judge Richard T. Rombro extends his October 1998 ruling that homosexual oral sex could no longer be considered criminal by applying the same legal logic to anal sex as well [R2.1].

L1.1 Maryland Code (Accessed 10 SEP 08)
R2.1 Washington Post: Judge's Ruling Protects Private, Consensual Sex Acts 20 JAN 99
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 24 July 2015, Attorney General Brian E. Frosh provided a legal opinion to the House of Delegates that says the definition of adultery includes a spouse's extramarital sexual conduct with someone of the same sex and can be considered adultery for the purposes of the Family Law Article [D1.21], [R1.20].

On 06 November 2012, a majority of voters 1,255,406 (51.9%) voted FOR Question 6 (Civil Marriage Protection Act (Ch 2 of the 2012 Legislative Session) and 1,161,702 (48.1%) against [R1.19], meaning that same-sex couples in Maryland will now have the freedom to marry from 01January 2013 [R1.18].

On 10 July 2012, the Board of Election certified the petition requesting the Civil Marriage Protection Act be put on the ballot in November [R1.17].

On 01 March 2012, Governor Martin O'Malley signed the Civil Marriage Protection Act into law and making same-sex marriage lawful effective 01 January 2013 provided a referendum petition is not put on the November ballot or otherwise litigated [L1.16], [R1.15].

Previously

Maryland law prohibited same-sex marriage that predated the federal DOMA [R1.14].

Three attempts to amend the law to prohibit marriages between same-sex couples, and an attempt to legalize them, have failed.


Maryland Code: Family Law, Title 2. Marriage, Sub-title 2. Valid Marriages [L1.13]

§ 2-201 Valid Marriages

Only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid in this State.


On 23 February 2012, the Senate approved the Civil Marriage Protection Act 25–22. Governor Martin O'Malley was expected to sign it Thursday 01 March 2012, with the Bill taking effect 01 January 2012 if not put on and voted against in the November ballot [R1.12].

On 21 February 2012, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted 7– 4 approving the Civil Marriage Protection Act, sending the Bill to the full Senate and moving Maryland closer to becoming the eighth state to legalize same-sex nuptials [R1.11].

On 17 February 2012, the House of Delegates voted 71–67 to pass HB 438 the Civil Marriage Protection Act and the Bill now moves to the Senate. An amendment altered the effective date from October to January 2013. [R1.10].

On 14 February 2012, the House of Delegates' Judiciary Committee and the Health and Government Operations Committee approved a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in a 25–18 joint vote [R1.9].

On 23 January 2012, Maryland governor Martin O'Malley introduced marriage equality legislation that extends legal protections to leaders of religious groups, compared to last year's bill that only protected institutions [R1.8].

On 09 March 2011, House of Delegates rejected moves to amend the Civil Marriage Protection Act. A final vote was expected later in the week [R1.7], however on 11 March, the Bill was referred back to the House Judiciary Committee where it may languish for an indeterminate time.

On 04 March 2011, the House Judiciary Committee voted 12–10 to pass the same-sex marriage bill, sending it to the full House of Delegates [R1.6].

On 24 February 2011, the Senate passed the Civil Marriage Protection Act 25–21. The Bill must pass the House and be signed into law by the Governor before coming into effect [R1.5].

On 17 February 2011, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted 7–4 to recognize same-sex marriage. The legislation now goes to the full Senate for debate [R1.4].

In January 2011, a gay marriage Bill [the Religious Freedom & Civil Marriage Protection Act] was progressing through the state Legislature. If passed, Governor Martin O'Malley has said he will sign the bill into law [R1.3].

In 23 February 2010, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler provided the Senate with an opinion that the state can recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states [R1.2].

In February 2010, the Maryland house of delegates judiciary committee rejected a bill that would have banned same-sex marriage and stopped the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere [R1.1].

2.

County

In December 2011, the Health Care Review committee of Baltimore County approved County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's recommendation to extend the healthcare benefits to county employee same sex married couples that are legally married in other states, beginning 01 January 2012 [R2.1].

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 18 April 2012, the Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in Jessica Port v. Virginia Anne Cowan that any Marylander legally wed in another state can get divorced in their home state [C3.7], [R3.6].

On 06 April 2012, Jessica Port and Virginia Anne Cowan petitioned the Maryland Court of Appeals for divorce (Case No 69), Prince George County Judge A. Michael Chapdelaine having refused their application in 17 October 2011 [R3.5].

On 17 March 2012, it was reported that Annapolis attorney E Burton Hathaway III said a Calvert County judge recently signed a divorce for a same-sex couple [R3.4].

On 23 June 2011, Washington County Circuit Court Judge Donald E. Beachley ruled that, under the "principle of comity," or legal reciprocity between states, Maryland generally recognizes a marriage as valid as long as it was valid in the jurisdiction in which it took place. Accordingly, he allowed the spousal privilege not to testify against one's spouse to be invoked, the couple before the court having married in Washington DC in 2010 [R3.3]. The case is State of Maryland v. Snowden, No: 21-K-11-45589.

On 17 October 2011, a Prince George's County Judge A Michael Chapdelaine denied a petition for divorce because the petitioners were married in California and same-sex marriages are unlawful in Maryland [C3.2], [R3.1].

D1.21 Opinion: Divorce - Whether same-sex marital Infidelity can qualify as adultery for purposes of Family Law Provisions governing divorce 100OAG105 PDF 88.64kb 24 JUL 15
R1.20 TheBaltimoreSun: Same-sex couples can commit adultery too, attorney general says 13 AUG 15
R1.19 Maryland State Board of Elections: Unofficial 2012 Presidential General Election results for All State Questions (Accessed 09 NOV 12)
R1.18 PinkNews: US 2012: Washington state passes same-sex marriage 07 NOV 12
R1.17 GayStarNews: Maryland will vote on gay marriage in November 15 JUL 12
L1.16 House Bill 438: Civil Marriage Protection Act PDF 130.24kb, 17 FEB 12
R1.15 Reuters US: Maryland legalizes same-sex marriage; challenge looms 01 MAR 12
R1.14 Stateline.org: 50-State Rundown on Gay Marriage Laws 26 APR 04
L1.13 Michie's Legal Resources: Maryland Code (Accessed 03 FEB 10)
R1.12 USA Today: Maryland gay marriage bill on way to governor 23 FEB 12
R1.11 Huffington Post: Maryland Gay Marriage Bill Approved By Senate Committee 21 FEB 12
R1.10 NPR: Gay Marriage Bill Passes Key Hurdle In Maryland 17 FEB 12
R1.9 Reuters US: Maryland advances gay marriage bill on Valentine's Day 14 FEB 12
R1.8 The Advocate: Maryland Governor Introduces Marriage Equality Bill 24 JAN 12
R1.7 365Gay.com: Maryland gay marriage debate leads to rejection of amendments 09 MAR 11
R1.6 The Baltimore Sun: Maryland House committee approves same-sex marriage 04 MAR 11
R1.5 Reuters US: Maryland Senate approves same-sex marriage 24 FEB 11
R1.4 The Baltimore Sun: Senate committee backs gay marriage 17 FEB 11
R1.3 PinkNews: Maryland edges towards gay marriage 13 JAN 11
R1.2 The Advocate: Maryland Can Recognize Out-of-State Gay Marriages 24 FEB 10
Douglas F. Gansler: Marriage – Whether out-of-state same-sex marriage that is valid in the state of celebration may be recognised in Maryland PDF 328.58kb, 23 FEB 10
R1.1 The Advocate: Maryland Gay Marriage Ban Dies in Committee 03 FEB 10
R2.1 ABC 2: Same sex couples get healthcare benefits 15 DEC 11
C3.7 Opinion: Jessica Port v. Virginia Anne Cowan No 69, Case No. CAD10-22420 PDF 51.16kb, 18 MAY 12
R3.6 The Advocate: Divorce Becomes Legal in Maryland Before Marriage 18 MAY 12
R3.5 GayStarNews: Lesbians denied divorce head to Court of Appeals 08 APR 12
R3.4 The Baltimore Sun: Same-sex divorce case heads to top Maryland court 17 MAR 12
R3.3 Herald-Mail: Judge rules that same-sex spouse can invoke spousal privilege 23 JUN 11
C3.2 Maryland Judiciary: Jessica Post v. Virginia Anne Cowan CAD10-22420, 17 OCT 11
R3.1 NBC Washington: Same-Sex Divorce Considered In Maryland Courts 17 JUN 11
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Maryland's adoption statute is silent on same-sex parents, leaving the matter to the discretion of each circuit judge. Baltimore, according to adoption lawyers, appears to be the only jurisdiction where judges have agreed to treat homosexual couples the same way they treat straight couples. Other jurisdictions, attorneys say, are a gamble for would-be parents who are gay [R1.2].


On 10 February 2011, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued a letter to state birth registrars announcing a procedure change allowing a woman to be named as a parent on the Maryland birth certificate of the child born to her same-sex married spouse, without the necessity of a court order [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 07 July 2016, the Maryland Court of Appeal in Conover v. Conover ruled unanimously in favor of recognizing the parent-child relationships of de facto parents who lack a biological or adoptive relationship with their children [C2.4], [R2.3].

On 01 July 2011, in the Court of Special Appeals, the termination of the parental rights of the biological parents in a case where the child is in the foster care of a male same-sex couple was affirmed as being in the best interests of the child [C2.2], [R2.1].

In June 2000, retiring Montgomery County Circuit Judge Vincent E. Ferretti wrote an opinion denying a lesbian parental rights over her partner's natural child. The couple amended their petition and refiled it in Montgomery County. The amended case was assigned to Judge Paul A. McGuckian, who agreed with Ferretti [R1.2].

Meanwhile, Baltimore City Circuit Judge Joseph H.H. Kaplan instituted a unique procedure – called waiver of venue – that made nonresidents eligible to file adoption cases in the city. [R1.2].

In 1996, Judge Kathleen O'Ferrall Friedman granted lesbian partners, who each had a child, parental rights over both children. She reasoned, in part, that adultery does not disqualify a person from adopting, so neither should a person's sexual orientation [R1.2].

R1.2 The Baltimore Sun: Baltimore court is a magnet for same-sex parents 12 NOV 11
R1.1 San Diego Gay & Lesbian News: Maryland to issue birth certificates naming two married moms as parents 11 FEB 11
Lambda Legal: DHMH Announcement Letter to State Birth Registrars PDF 30.10kb, 10 FEB 11
Lambda Legal: DHMH Birth Certificate Form for Same-Sex Couples PDF 482.21kb, 11 FEB 11
2. Courts & Tribunals
C2.4 Opinion: Conover v. Conover No. 79 PDF 131.88kgs 07 JUL 16
R2.3 FreeState (PressRelease): Victory: Marylandís Highest Court Rules in Favor of De Facto Parentage for Same-Sex Couples, in Case Brought by FreeState Justice PDF 306.48kb 07 JUL 16
C2.2 Court of Special Appeals: In Re: Adoption/Guardianship of Cross H. PDF 32.38kb, 21 JUL 11
R2.1 Lesbian / Gay Law Notes: Court Affirms termination of parental rights to child in foster care PDF 652.99kb, at 153, JUL 11
TaxationLegislation/Cases/References
   
Violence: Bullying, Domestic Violence, Harassment, Victimisation, Vilification Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [GENDER IDENTIY]
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 24 May 2016, it was reported that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a Maryland employer have settled for about $200,000 one of the agency's first lawsuits against a private employer alleging that sexual orientation bias violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Pallet Companies unlawfully discriminated against Yolanda Boone on the basis of her sex by subjecting her to harassment [C1.4], [R1.3].

On 01 April 2015, Adminstrative Law Judge Denise Oakes Shaffer issued a proposed decision that the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services adopted and ordered on 17 August 2015, finding that corrections officers violated national standards for the protection of transgender inmates, and that m2f transgender Neon “Sandy” Brown should receive $5000 compensation for being denied recreation privileges, being victimized and humiliated by Patuxent's employees, and “for being inappropriately watched in the shower facilities by correctional officers, constituting sexual abuse through voyeurism” [C1.2], [R1.1].

C1.4 Consent Decree: US Equal Opportunity Commission v. Pallet Companies No. 1:16-cv-00595-CCB PDF 100.95kb, 23 JUN 16
R1.3 BloomburgBNA: EEOC Settles One of Its First Sexual Orientation Lawsuits 24 JUN 16
C1.2 Proposed Decision: Neon Brown v. Patuxent Institution No: DPSC-IGO-002V-14-33232 PDF 8.48MB 01 APR 15
R1.1 FreeStateLegal: Groundbreaking Victory on Protections for Transgender People in Prison 24 SEP 15

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