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Effective immediately, Maryland attorney general Douglas F. Gansler has announced, the state can recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Gansler said state agencies can begin acknowledging the rights gay couples have been awarded in states where same-sex marriage is legal. The announcement comes with Gansler's issuance Wednesday morning of a long-awaited opinion on the validity of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

"Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., a Democrat, asked in May asked if such marriages could be recognized," The Baltimore Sun reported. Gansler's 40-page report makes it clear that the answer is yes, the newspaper added.

"The opinion does not enable same-sex couples to wed here," the Sun continued. "It also does not carry the weight of law, but is meant to guide judges and state agencies." Gansler said the document offers "a prediction, not a prescription" for how courts will interpret the law.

The opinion can be read here.

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