From Queer Channel Media:
Marriage in Md.: Celebrations and considerations
Because of the Defense of Marriage Act, we are now stuck in an inherent legal contradiction: We will be legally married and receive most of the benefits that straight married couples receive from the state, but our marriages will not be recognized by the federal government, as DOMA defines a spouse as one of the opposite sex. This can trigger numerous problems and are worth consideration before marrying. It creates significant inequities that burden all same-sex couples (for example, tax implications, lack of Social Security spousal benefits, or standard health insurance coverage as an employment benefit), but some of these issues have the potential to create immediate harm for individual families. Some examples:
• Immigration. Marrying a same-sex spouse residing in the U.S. could result in the denial of the granting or an extension of a non-immigrant visa. The marriage could be viewed as the non-resident spouse’s intent to remain permanently in the U.S. The federal government won’t recognize the marriage for any beneficial purposes, but will recognize it to deny the non-resident their visa.
• Needs-Based Public Assistance. If you or your partner are receiving public assistance and you choose to marry, then the spouse’s income will be included in determining eligibility.
• Adoption. Aside from DOMA, there are other possible implications. For example, if you want to adopt a child, particularly internationally, your marital status could keep you from having a child placed in your home. Many countries will not permit adoptions to gay couples, and if you are married, you would not be able to submit an adoption application as an individual.
But always remember: No matter how screwy marriage law is, under Maryland law you’ll always have the right to discriminate against trans people!
Emphasis on “always.”
The civil rights team that had success in Howard and Baltimore counties will press ahead in 2013 to secure gender identity rights in Maryland. Gender Rights Maryland — the state’s only civil rights organization exclusively representing trans persons — and the Howard County and Baltimore County chapters of PFLAG announced last week they will continue the alliance they formed this past year in passing gender identity and expression legislation in two Maryland counties.
The alliance will mark the second year of cooperation between the organizations that resulted in the passage of comprehensive anti-discrimination protections for trans and gender non-conforming persons in Howard and Baltimore counties in 2012. The organizations plan to take the measures to the Maryland State Legislature and to the Prince George’s County Council for passage in 2013.
The organizations plan to take the measures to the Maryland State Legislature and to the Prince George’s County Council for passage in 2013 while all the people in Maryland who currently possess that right to discriminate against trans people are off not donating any time or money to getting rid of that existing right to discriminate against trans people but, instead, are spending time and money on Maryland marriages.