The Court of Appeals of Maryland in Annapolis is set to hear arguments in a case involving Jessica Port and Virginia Anne Cowan, who married in California in 2008 but were denied a divorce in Maryland. Maryland, of course, passed marriage equality earlier this year but it does not take effect until January 2013 and opponents are trying to overturn it in a voter referendum.
A Maryland judge declined to grant their divorce in 2010, basing his decision on the conclusion that the women's marriage is not valid under Maryland law.
But lawyers for the women disagree, saying the state should recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere even though Maryland does not allow same-sex weddings at the present time. As a result, the couple should be allowed to divorce in the state, the lawyers say…
…Meanwhile, judges in Maryland are inconsistent about granting divorces for gay couples who married in another state. Lawyers involved in Friday's case say they believe judges have granted about a half a dozen divorces for gay couples, but their clients, Jessica Port and Virginia Anne Cowan, and at least one other couple were recently denied that.