Maryland’s highest court allows divorce of same sex marriages permitted in other states

Maryland’s highest court ruled Friday that same-sex couples can divorce in the state even though Maryland does not yet permit same-sex marriages.

The Court of Appeals ruled 7-0 that couples who have a valid marriage from another state can divorce in Maryland. The case involved two women who were married in California and denied a divorce in 2010 by a Maryland judge.

The Court of Appeals issued the ruling Friday that couples who have a valid marriage from another state can divorce in Maryland. The ruling says Maryland courts should withhold recognition of a valid foreign marriage only if that marriage is “repugnant” to state public policy. The court says the threshold is a high bar that has not been met in the case that it ruled on.

The case involved two women who were married in California and denied a divorce in 2010 by a Maryland judge. Lawyers for the women told the Court of Appeals that is would be unprecedented for the state not to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere.