The bigger winners today in D.C. . . .

. . . are the same-sex couples in Maryland. I know: as a D.C. resident, I should be happiest the place I call home, but . . .

Last week, the Maryland Attorney General announced that, barring court action, the same-sex marriages contracted in other jurisdictions would be recognized in Maryland. This is good news (1) because the District of Columbia borders Maryland and (2) D.C. went the recognition route before proceeding with a marriage equality bill. (Admittedly, D.C. action was legislative, and D.C. had to test the waters because the Congress could swoop in and snap away a locally decided issue, but there are parallels worth noting.)

If you have a D.C. domestic partnership, marriage will give you no more rights or privileges within the District, apart from the dignity of marriage. (Which is no small thing, and it would be more if the the so-called Defense of Marriage Act didn’t exist.) D.C. Council has already filled in all the distinctions between domestic partnership and marriage through statute. Marriage becomes more valuable if you leave the District and enter a jurisdiction (Massachusetts, Vermont, Canada, South Africa, Nepal, presumably, as examples) where same-sex partners may marry or be recognized. (Makes for a handy vacation destination list, too.)

So enter the Marylanders, like my friend Terrance Heath and his soon-to-legally-wed-husband Rick Imirowicz, mentioned in today’s New York Times. (In my last pastorate, I dedicated their elder son. Golly, they grow.) This is their easiest shot at legal parity. Well, if you ignore DOMA. Which I don’t.

Don’t worry, Hubby and I will get our license in time. I’ll save you a cupcake.

  • Nice pictures of the day from DCist
  • 4 Replies to “The bigger winners today in D.C. . . .”

    1. “If you have a D.C. domestic partnership, marriage will give you no more rights or privileges within the District, apart from the dignity of marriage.”

      That’s not entirely true if I understand the situation correctly. It was my understanding that if you claim DP benefits for health insurance, you had to pay tax on those additional benefits for your partner, whereas this is not the case for married partners.

      For example, see: http://www.hrc.org/issues/4820.htm

      (It may have changed?)

    2. But same-sex couples in D.C. (or Massachusetts or Vermont or what-have-you) aren’t recognized as such by the federal government. Thus the taxation complaint.

      Indeed, that example is one of the most infuriating.

    3. This will be the second time (or third, if you count when we put our rings on in Hawaii) I’ve married him. 😉 Hopefully, I won’t need to again.

      DOMA will be repealed, though probably not as soon as I or anyone else would like. (Uh, like, how about yesterday?) When I’ve talked to reporters I’ve been very careful to say that we’ll have the same benefits and protections that the state of Maryland affords married couples. But it all still disappears when we cross state lines. And we still file separate tax returns, etc.

      So, we’re not “there” yet, but we’re a bit closer. (And by “we” I mean everyone who supports marriage equailty.) I’m feeling more confident that we’ll get there. After all, I didn’t expect to be legally married anywhere this soon. I thought we’d be grandparents by the time it happened…

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