The Maryland Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, has allowed a same-sex couple to file for divorce, despite the fact that same-sex marriage will not be legal in the state until 2013. The case sparked a national debate on whether states without same-sex marriage can recognize same-sex marriages that took place in other states.
In an update on a subject previously covered by this blog, Maryland's Court of Appeals heard a case involving a lesbian couple seeking a divorce in the state. The women were married in a state that allows same-sex marriage, but filed for divorce in Maryland in 2010. A judge denied the request because Maryland does not currently recognize same-sex marriage, so the couple's marriage is not valid under state law.
Critics and supporters of same-sex marriage legislation in Maryland and elsewhere have long argued over the consequences of such laws on divorce, with some fearing it could raise divorce rates. According to data from the National Vital Statistics System at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, states that currently allow same-sex marriage generally see lower divorce rates.