Same-sex marriage ban is upheld
The state’s highest court upheld a 34-year-old state law banning same-sex marriage, rejecting an attempt by gays and lesbians to win the right to marry.
In reversing a lower court’s decision, the Court of Appeals ruled 4 to 3 in Baltimore that limiting marriage to a man and a woman does not discriminate against gay couples or deny them constitutional rights.
Although the judges acknowledged that gays and lesbians had been targets of discrimination, they said the prohibition on same-sex marriage promoted the state’s interest in heterosexual marriage as a means of having and protecting children.
Chief Judge Robert M. Bell issued a sharp dissent, accusing the majority of failing to recognize gay people as a “suspect class,” a group that warrants special protection from discrimination. The state case cannot be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, officials said.