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Md. Court Considering Same-Sex Spousal Privilege

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — A judge in Hagerstown says he’ll consider whether a woman who legally married her lesbian partner in another jurisdiction can refuse to testify against her in Maryland, which doesn’t allow same-sex marriage.

Sharron Saleem Snowden, 38, invoked the spousal privilege in Washington County Circuit Court Monday at the outset of Deborah “Toney” Snowden’s assault trial. They were married Aug. 11 in the District of Columbia.

Prosecutors want the court to compel Sharron to testify about her statement to police that Toney pushed her and threatened her with a knife.

Toney’s public defender cites a 2010 Maryland attorney general’s opinion that out-of-state, same-sex marriages may be recognized under Maryland law.

Judge Donald Beachley says he’ll schedule oral arguments after studying the matter in the next 30 days.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


One Comment

  1. Herman Glimsher says:



  2. beth smith says:

    my feelings on the situation are that…they are married, and i think that md should reconize it. I dont think that md state should make her testify against her wife.

  3. Not going to take it anymore says:

    If they were both illegals Maryland would probably be throwing them a HUGE reception!

    Let these ladies people be. They aren’t bothering anyone! The marriage issue between a man and a woman is a religious belief and is getting REAL old. It has no business being considered by Government.

  4. chalkie says:

    I don’t believe in spousal privilege rule anyway. It is just another way so people can get out of trouble. If the spouse refuses to testify, then alot of times there isn’t enough evidence and the person gets off. Sorry you do the crime then you should do the time. To many loop holes in our state law, and this is just another one!!! So if she won’t take the stand then her statement given to police should be taken as the truth and stand up in court. Then there is still enough to convict her other half. This is like a woman calling the cops after her husband beats her half to death, they lock him up and go through the whole process. And when court comes around, all of a sudden its I love him, and he didn’t mean it, and blah blah blah, and i don’t want him to go to jail so I will not take the stand. He gets off the charge. A couple months later he is locked up for murder, because this timehe killed her. And yes this happens alot!!!

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