ACLU Joins Md. Same-Sex Spousal Privilege Dispute

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is stepping into a dispute over same-sex spousal privilege in a western Maryland domestic-assault case.

ACLU of Maryland staff attorney David Rocah said Thursday he’s representing alleged victim Sharron  Snowden in Washington County Circuit Court.

Snowden has invoked her privilege not to testify against her lesbian spouse, even though Maryland doesn’t allow same-sex marriage.

She and Deborah Antoinette Snowden were legally married in the District of Columbia.

Prosecutors contend the marriage isn’t valid in Maryland. They have asked the court to compel Sharron Snowden’s testimony.

The defense cites Maryland’s history of recognizing out-of-state marriages that couldn’t be performed in Maryland, such as a marriage between an uncle and a niece.

Arguments in the case are set for June 23.

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

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