Thursday, May 22, 2008

Maryland Domestic Partner Legislation Signed into Law

I'm posting this because I never thought it would happen. I even would get mildly bothered when a priest would speak of the legislation and the need to let lawmakers know the public's opinion on the matter. I really thought that there was no way that the political/social climate was such that anything along these lines could pass; therefore, I saw the priest bringing it up with children present to be unnecessary pollution of the kids. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Now, I'm hoping that we can learn from this.


Gov. Martin O'Malley signed two bills to bring some of the rights married couples have to unmarried couples - including gay couples - along with measures related to health and support for Maryland veterans."Without the ability to have the legal protections that say, a civil unions statute would give, then these other bills, will, I suspect, continue to come through the legislature and continue to be approved by the legislature ..." O'Malley said.

One of the bills allows unmarried couples more rights to make about a dozen medical decisions for each other, if they meet certain criteria to show they are a committed couple. For example, they would have to show joint checking accounts or joint property ownership to qualify.

The other bill exempts domestic partners from paying property transfer taxes when one person dies.

Sen. Rob Garagiola, a Montgomery County Democrat who sponsored the medical decisions bill, described them as "a huge step in the right direction" for equal rights for gay couples."Also, for the first time ever, we actually have a definition now of domestic partners in our state law," Garagiola said. Complete Article

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