Maryland: Same-sex couples can marry Jan. 1, 2013

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said on Thursday same-sex couples can begin to marry in the state on Jan. 1.

He wrote in a 19-page opinion that clerks can begin to issue marriage
licenses to gays and lesbians as soon as Dec. 6, as long as they don’t
take effect until the same-sex marriage law takes effect at the start of
the new year. A 1999 law states a marriage license is not valid until 6
a.m. on the second calendar day after a clerk issues it.

Gansler concluded this requirement does not “expressly prohibit licenses becoming effective after that time.”

“Although there is a legal reason why same-sex couples cannot be
licensed to marry before midnight on Jan. 1, 2013…, there is no such
legal reason why they should not be licensed to marry at any time after
the moment the law takes effect,” he wrote.

The same-sex marriage law voters approved by a 52-48 percent margin
earlier this month is scheduled to take effect on a legal holiday when
clerks’ offices are typically closed. It was previously believed the
earliest a same-sex couple would have been able to legally marry under
Maryland law was 6 a.m. on Jan. 4.

(via Washington Blade)