Marriage Equality USA

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Lawsuits - Resolved

Port v. Cowan

Case #: No. 69, September Term 2011, Maryland Court of Appeals
Date Filed: April 2012
Ruling Date: 18 May 2012


  • Recognition of same-sex marriages from other states became precedent when the Maryland Court of Appeals agreed to hear a case from Prince George's County, where two women who were legally married in California had been denied a divorce they filed for, in 2010, by the circuit court.
  • 18 May 18 2012, the court published a unanimous ruling in Port v. Cowan that validated the marriage of Jessica Port and Virginia Cowan because it said "no viable decision by the Court had deemed a valid foreign marriage to be 'repugnant'," even if the marriage was void or punishable as a crime were it performed in Maryland.
Conaway v. Deane & Polyak

Case #: No. 44 – September Term 2006, Maryland Court of Appeals
Date Filed: July 2004
Date of Appeal: 2006
Ruling Date: 18 September 2007


  • Nine lesbian and gay couples and a gay widower filed this case in Maryland state court seeking the right to marry under the state constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection.
  • January 2006, the trial court ruled in the plaintiffs' favor, holding that excluding same-sex couples from marriage discriminates on the basis of sex without a constitutionally sufficient government justification.
  • The state appealed to the Maryland Court of Appeals.
  • 1 September 2006. Lambda Legal submitted an Amicus Brief.
  • In a 4 to 3 decision, the Court of Appeals ruled that the state could continue to treat committed same-sex couples as legal strangers, barring them from hundreds of family protections that the state provides through marriage.

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