Two bills that undermine the institution of marriage by granting marriage equivalency to unmarried couples in the health and tax statutes could become law as soon as May 13 unless they are vetoed by Gov. Martin O'Malley.
SB 566 and SB 597 are seriously problematic. Under the bills, any two people - same-sex, or of opposite sexes - can gain state recognition as domestic partners if they jointly rent a car, jointly rent an apartment, and sign an affidavit that they are in an "interdependent" relationship. There is no requirement that the affidavit be filed with any agency, or even notarized. Domestic partnerships can be dissolved merely by signing another affidavit. SB 566 and SB 597 allow those domestic partnerships to be treated the same as marriages in parts of the health and tax statutes.
SB 566 grants medical decision-making rights to domestic partners. However, those benefits are already available to ALL couples in Maryland through advance directives and powers of attorney. SB 597 exempts domestic partners and former domestic partners from recordation and transfer taxes.
Governor’s contact by email is: http://www.governor.maryland.gov/mail/
Governor’s contact by fax is: 410.974.3275
Governor’s contact by phone is: 410.974.3901 or 1.800.811.8336
Governor's snail mail address:
The Honorable Martin O’Malley
State House, 100 State Circle
Annapolis, MD 21401
NB: I must issue a Mea Culpa for my negligence in not linking DC Catholic earlier on my site. The website has some nice postings on various issues affecting Catholics in the DC area.