ANNAPOLIS — The state's highest court today upheld a state law banning homosexual marriage.
The Maryland Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling that would have allowed homosexuals to marry, upholding a 1973 state ban that limits marriage to one man and one woman.
Four judges on the seven-member panel ruled that the state's equal protection clause did not apply to sexual orientation. Three judges dissented.
Writing for the majority Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr. wrote: "Our opinion should by no means be read to imply that the General Assembly may not grant and recognize for homosexual persons civil unions or the right to marry a person of the same sex," possibly in anticipation of future legislation, which proponents of Gay Marriage in the MD Legislature have already promised they will submit.
Don Dwyer, one of the General Assembly's most conservative members, said he would introduce a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage as "insurance." While State Sen. Richard Madaleno, who is openly gay, said he plans to introduce a bill to allow same-sex marriage. He also expects a proposal to create civil unions.