Posts tagged Gansler
Today, the Maryland Human Resources Manager sent an e-mail notification to all members of the State legislature indicating that the state would now accept valid marriage certificates from other states.
This action was initated back on February 24th when Attorney General Gansler determined (against current law) that Maryland would recognize out of state same sex marriages for the purpose of benifits. I brought Impeachment Charges against the A/G for violating Maryland law.
Now I must consider bringing a law suit against the state for violating Maryland and Federal law by allowing certain tax and health benifits to same sex couples.
From: O’Connor, Robyn
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 9:27 AM
To: MD House of Delegates; Senate of Maryland; Walker, Joy; Oakes, Barbara
Subject: FW: IMPORTANT BENEFIT UPDATE CONCERNING SAME-SEX SPOUSES
As you know, the State recently determined that it can accept valid marriage certificates for same-sex couples. In late April, the Employee Benefits Division in Baltimore received legal advice on what actions were needed to allow for the enrollment of same-sex spouses in the benefit program and have begun implementing those changes. In order not to delay offering this opportunity to State of Maryland employees and retirees, we are accepting enrollment of same-sex spouses for a July 1, 2010 effective date, immediately.
Those individuals who already possess a valid marriage certificate from a jurisdiction that authorizes such unions, may complete an enrollment form to cover the spouse for a July 1, 2010 effective date. Human Resources will forward completed forms to the Employee Benefits Division. All forms must be received by close of business on June 2, 2010.
Following Open Enrollment, as individuals marry their same sex partners, they can add the spouse under the usual qualified family status change process (i.e. submit the enrollment form, spouse tax affidavit and valid marriage certificate within 60 days of the marriage).
Please note that unless the same-sex spouse qualifies as a tax dependent as determined by the IRS, imputed income will still apply to the portion of the State subsidy attributable to the same-sex spouse’s coverage in the same manner it applies for domestic partners. For a same-sex spouse to be entitled to federal pre-tax/tax-free benefits coverage as a dependent, the individual must meet the following requirements:
1) The individual does not meet the “qualifying relative” tests in relation to the employee/retiree;
2) The individual must live with the employee/retiree all year as a member of the employee’s/retiree’s household (and the relationship must not violate local law); and
3) The employee/retiree must provide more than half of the individual’s support for the year.
Employees with questions may contact Human Resources
Lori L. Mathis, PHR
Human Resources Manager
Maryland General Assembly
Department of Legislative Services
90 State Circle – Rm 311
Annapolis, MD 21401
Just 6 years after Maryland’s Attorney General Joe Curran issued his official opinion on the recognition of out of state same sex marriage, Maryland’s current Attorney General Doug Gansler has overturned it. In doing so, he not only bypassed the long standing practice of referring to standing opinions from previous Attorney Generals, he also usurped the power of the General Assembly. The immediate effect of this opinion is far-reaching. It nullifies Maryland’s current law that states “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid in this state.”
To hold the office of Attorney General one must put his or her personal agenda on hold and consider the greater good of the state. Personal prejudice has no place in consideration of law. The sworn oath the Attorney General takes is very clear. It demands him to be, “faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of Maryland, and support the constitution and Laws thereof; and that I will, to the best of my skill and judgment, diligently and faithfully, without partiality or prejudice, execute the office of Attorney General according to the Constitution and Laws of this State.” Irrefutable evidence exists proving Mr. Gansler violated his oath of office by offering partial and prejudice testimony in his official capacity. He is not constitutionally authorized to offer partial and prejudice testimony under the cloak of his elected office.
He has unabashedly supported the not only the recognition of out of state same sex marriages, but also overtly advocates for Maryland to start performing them. In his testimony in the Maryland Senate in 2008 he fully outlines what he thinks is his job as Attorney General. “The role of the Attorney General is not just to enforce the law, but to seek justice in every case.” He went on to say “It would be hard for me to have this job knowing that there is something so wrong in our society and just ignore it and be able to come down and at least testify on behalf of this bill.” This action is in direct conflict with the intent of the Oath of Office to which he swore his allegiance. It is also a grave injustice to the citizens of Maryland.
The Attorney General has argued his opinion has no effect of law and is meant to “guide judges and state agencies,” yet when asked, he has been quoted in a local newspaper as saying, “What an Attorney General’s opinion does is it becomes the law of the land unless or until a Legislature or a court overturns that decision.” One has to wonder which of his own opinions he believes.
Ironically, if he truly believes that an Attorney General’s Opinion stands until overturned by a court ruling or legislative process, why did he consider his predecessor’s opinion vulnerable and invalid? Since 2004 no court ruling or legislative action was imposed against it. Oddly enough, Mr. Gansler’s office successfully defended the 2004 opinion in Maryland’s highest court protecting the sanctity of marriage.
These actions show a clear disregard for Maryland and the legislative process by which it is enacted. For this reason, I am holding Maryland’s Attorney General accountable for his actions. I am preparing articles of impeachment based on the offenses outlined in this writing. One can only hope that this process will not be circumvented for political expediency.