Conaway v. Deane

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Decided the constitutionality of a ban on same-sex marriage in Maryland.

Full Case Title: 

Conaway v. Deane, 401 Md. 219 (2007)
  • Fairness in the Courts


  • LGBTQ+ Rights
  • Joined Amicus Brief


This is a challenge to Maryland's ban on same-sex marriage. The trial court found the ban unconstitutional sex discrimination, in violation of the state's Equal Rights Amendment. The court held that the creation of a sex-based classification, such as a requirement that marriage is only between a man and a woman, triggers strict scrutiny and that the state had failed to demonstrate that the statute is narrowly tailored to serve any compelling government interest. The case is currently being appealed and we signed onto an amicus brief authored by the Public Justice Center. The brief reviews the history of Maryland marriage laws to show how they had previously discriminated on the basis of religion, race, and sex and to argue that ending marriage discrimination against same-sex couples is the next step in an ongoing process of creating more equal and accessible marriage for all couples.

Amicus Brief