Same Sex Couples Can't Get Married in Maryland (yet), But They Can Get Divorced.
Even though Maryland does not recognize same sex marriage, the Court of Appeals ruled that a valid out of state same sex marriage should be treated by the Maryland Courts as worthy of divorce. Jessica Port and Virginia Anne Cowan married in California in 2008, during a time when same sex marriage was legal in that state. The couple then moved to Maryland and two years later they agreed to mutually separate. Port filed for divorce in Prince George’s County, and Cowan did not contest the Complaint. The Judge hearing their case denied the requested relief on the basis that the marriage was “not valid” and “contrary to the public policy of Maryland.” Both parties appealed the Circuit Court decision.
“Must the Circuit Court grant a divorce to two people of the same sex who were validly married in another jurisdiction and who otherwise meet the criteria for divorce under Maryland law?” The Court of Appeals answered in a 7-0 decision, yes and remanded the case to the Circuit Court with direction to grant a final divorce.