- The Washington Times - Friday, May 18, 2012

The question of whether Maryland will allow same-sex marriages to be performed is still up in the air, but the state can grant same-sex divorces.

In a decision that Democrats herald as an important step toward equal treatment of gay and heterosexual couples, the Maryland Court of Appeals unanimously ruled Friday that the state can grant divorces sought by gay couples who were legally married in other states.

The state's highest court, represented by a seven-judge panel, ruled that the state must recognize the marriages for the purpose of divorce because Maryland law contains no language expressly requiring out-of-state gay marriages to be treated as void.

Gov. Martin O’Malley said the ruling affirms his administration’s policy of awarding full recognition to gay marriages performed out of state.

“To treat families differently under the law because they happen to be led by gay or lesbian couples is not right or just,” said Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat. “As a free and diverse people, the way forward is always to be found through greater respect for the equal rights of all.”

The Court of Appeals ruling came in response to the case of Jessica Port and Virginia Anne Cowan, a lesbian couple that married in California in 2008 and attempted to divorce in 2010.