Washington (CNN) — Maryland’s highest court has ruled that a lesbian couple married out of state can legally file for divorce, even though Maryland’s own same-sex marriage law does not take effect until next year.
The issue is whether states without legalized same-sex marriage can recognize gay or lesbian weddings outside their borders. The appeal involved a Prince George’s County couple, Jessica Port and Virginia Anne Cowan.
“Maryland courts will withhold recognition of a valid foreign marriage only if that marriage is ‘repugnant’ to state public policy. This threshold, a high bar, has not been met yet,” the seven state Court of Appeals justices said in their 21-page opinion. “The present case will be treated no differently. “
The couple were married in a 2008 civil ceremony in San Francisco, during a short window when California recognized same-sex marriage.