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Same-Sex Couple Follows Lawyer's Advice, Plans Marriage

Thursday is the first day Maryland's circuit courts could start issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

Timonium residents Bruce Eicher and Jorge Gaitan went to Baltimore County Circuit Court Thursday afternoon to get a marriage license—at the advice of their lawyer.

"He said it was safer. If one of us died, we want to make sure the other is taken care of," said Eicher, who is 80 years old.

Thursday marked the first day same-sex couples in Maryland could obtain a marriage license, but Baltimore County's gay and lesbian residents didn't appear to be in a huge rush late in the day.

An employee at the licensing department in circuit court declined to comment on the number of same-sex couples who had sought licenses on Thursday. 

Eicher and Gaitan, a 67-year-old native of Colombia, were one of a few couples to obtain a marriage license at the Baltimore County Circuit Court in the afternoon. Eicher called the occasion "anti-climatic."

"We had a civil ceremony 10 years ago in Vermont," he said. "We had all the fun and excitement then."

In a news release, Governor Martin O'Malley shared that he had signed a proclamation Thursday morning enabling Maryland courthouses to issue the licenses. The signature comes about a month after the 2012 elections, where Marylanders voted to approve same-sex marriage on referendum. 

The same-sex marriage law goes into effect Jan. 1.

Eicher and Gaitan are pleased by the steps the state took to legalize same-sex marriage.

"I'm a very patient person," Eicher said of the wait before he could legalize his relationship with Gaitan. "But I'm very happy [same-sex marriage] passed referendum. I wouldn't be surprised if the rest of the country started legalizing it soon as well."

Wedding plans are up in the air for the couple, but they do intend to have a small gathering with close friends.

"I feel happy," Gaitan said. "We're making plans to have a nice vacation to Florida in March."

Chillin December 14, 2012 at 01:33 AM
To Caring Citizen: I took your suggestion and researched some of my own questions and did learn lot. I read among other documents, a study from the League of Women Voters that was quite unbiased. It went on to say many of the things you mentioned-basically that two unmarried people could obtain joint protections and rights that a married (opposite sex )couple can obtain, but the two unmarried people would have to go through some pretty complicated and expensive paperwork, whereas the married couple is automatically granted these protections. I chuckled when they went on to warn of the burdens/ pitfalls of marriage too. The law has passed and so be it, but as the battle will continue at the Federal level no doubt, I think a better way to approach the dilemma is to legislate marriage out of the government. Here’s why: The word marriage has had the same basic definition in western cultures for thousands of years, and I use this culture in my reasoning because we here in the USA are an extension of this culture that has traditionally used the Bible as our reference for law and society norms ( I’m not going Bible on you). Marriage was understood by 99.9% of citizens to be between one man and one women and that they would them create as many children as possible until death do they part. No other choices afforded, no divorce, no adultery. Hell, being unmarried was thought of as being a major sin, if not close to being illegal 200 years ago.
Chillin December 14, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Contd. Some married people have degraded marriage so far from that definition, that it barely resembles the original intentions. Today over half of marriages end in divorce. Children are abandoned regularly. Adultery runs rampant. Many men have children with several women and visa-versa. Many children are born to unwed mothers. Just about all these situations were illegal in the original States. Legislators have had to change marriage laws many times to accommodate the ever-changing relationships. What we call a marriage today has morphed tremendously from what it was understood to be even as late as 100 years ago. I compare a marriage to a cell phone. We still refer to these gadgets in are pockets as cell phones, yet they have morphed so much that the phone part is the least used feature. Rather than continuously redefine marriage laws, legislators should dissolve all marriage laws and simply document each citizens children, inheritor, property, and power of attorney. This way no one is discriminated against, not even polygamists. Leave marriages in the church only, including multi-person marriages.
A. Brown December 14, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I think there is a difference between the rite of marriage (religious) and the right of marriage (legal). The church has defined "traditional" marriage as one man and one woman, but in the US, legal marriage has also been defined as whites only, blacks with permission of slave owner, also where the wife is little more than physical property, then finally interracial marriage was legalized, and rape within a marriage was also legal, etc. ad nauseum... Ultimately, if you're an American citizen that should come with the right to marry another consenting adult if they want to (the legal version). Now, whether or not a church that believes differently should be asked to marry a couple that is against the teachings of their faith (the rite) should be left to them.
Chillin December 16, 2012 at 02:56 AM
My point exactly. The government has screwed up the definition of marriage so many times through revisions and they are still trying to redefine it. ‘Religious marriage’ and ‘legal marriage’ have become two different species , whereas they were considered one in the same at one time. The state’s rules on marriage mimicked most church’s rules. Rather than having these two different species of marriage called ‘marriage’ , let people involved in a ‘religious marriage’ call it such and the government’s version should be called ‘declaration of a designee’ or some similar legal term.
Rachel Zane February 05, 2014 at 01:03 PM
Thanks for the post. It is interesting to hear how the changes in the law throughout the country are affecting the communities. It sounds like Maryland has embraced the new law. Rachel Zane | http://www.employeelawyerchicago.com/employment-discrimination/

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