. . . 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.