Friday, November 30, 2012

Around The Nation

Maryland Attorney General: Same-sex Marriage Licences Can Be Processed Now- Law Takes Effective Jan 1
Doug Gansler
ANNAPOLIS, MD -- Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. "Doug" Gansler released a lengthy opinion Thursday that makes it possible for same-sex couples to be able to apply for and process marriage licenses a few days ahead of time, to facilitate New Year’s Day marriages and comply with the waiting period in Maryland law.
In a telephone conversation Friday, Gansler's office told LGBTQNation that issuing the opinion was to clear up procedural confusion after passage of Question 6, the ballot measure upholding Maryland’s same-sex marriage law. That ballot measure passed in a 52-percent for to a 48-percent against outcome earlier this month.
Although the opinion clearly leaves the options to county clerks responsible for marriage licencing in Maryland to decide whether or not to make such accommodations. 
Initially, according to the Attorney General's office, with January 1 being a holiday, licences could not be issued until the following day. Which meant that with the mandatory 2 day waiting period, those licences would not take effect until January 4. 
Loretta E. Knight, president of the Maryland Association on Circuit Court Clerks, told The Washington Post that she received the state opinion and was reviewing it.
“We’re going to try to be consistent with other courts,” she said.

New Hampshire
It's Final: Transgendered Representative-Elect Decides To Resign Seat
NASHUA, NH -- Newly elected transgendered State Representative Stacie Laughton, (D) ceremoniously signed her letter of resignation Thursday on camera on a cable access show hosted by fellow Democrat and friend State Representative Ken Gidge.
Laughton's decision follows nearly two weeks of controversy after it was disclosed that she is convicted felon.
On Tuesday, Laughton said she would step down because of three felony convictions in 2008 for credit card fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
At the time, Laughton was known as Barry Charles Laughton and served four and a half months in prison bars. Much of Laughton's sentence was suspended pending 10 years of good behavior.
“I’m reconsidering and I’m seeking the advice of professionals and through social media,” Laughton said Wednesday, reversing her decision to resign. "It’s my intention to take the office that I was elected to."
Laughton said that her final decision would be based on the finding of the Attorney General's Office, which is reviewing the wordage in the law that states whether convicted felons are eligible to run for office. 
That request was made to Senior Assistant Attorney General Michael Brown and he determined quickly that the situation was "more complicated" than initially thought. He said he was looking at the language of NH's voting code, specifically the term "final discharge," as it applied to two suspended sentences which Laughton did not have to serve time for. According to the Attorney General's Office, as of Friday, Brown had not rendered a decision.
Speaking on Gidge's programme Thursday, Laughton said that she just wanted to move past it all. 
"After I changed my mind and said I wasn't going to resign, I didn't get any calls from within the party. It was the barrage of calls form reporters and all the comments made on the different news sites that got me feeling like it was time to put it to rest.  But I never once believed I'd done anything wrong in this process. I believed – and still do – that I had satisfied the requirements of the corrections department, or I wouldn't have run in the first place," Laughton said. 
"I believed that once you finish your probation and parole, you are all done. I really just wanted the chance to get on with my life and serve the people," Laughton added.
She told Gige that she would like to running for office again because she feels called to public service.
"I lived for a lot of years in the darkness of who I was. For a lot of years, I believe I was acting out because of not being honest with my self or other people about who I really was, or my gender identification," Laughton said. 
"After I got out of prison I felt like it was a new start for me. I began my transformation, from who I had been for all those years, to who I really was," Laughton said. "And ever since that that day, I do something, every day to try to better myself, or help someone else. I am trying to be the best person I can be, and put the past behind me, once and for all."