[JURIST] Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich [official website] vetoed a bill Friday that would have allowed rights for gay partners who registered with the state, denouncing it as a threat to traditional marriage. Among the rights the bill would have granted to gay partners were the right to be treated as immediate family in a hospital setting, power to make healthcare decisions, and private nursing home visits. Ehrlich said he was sympathetic to the needs of dependent couples but stressed that the tools of existing laws allowed for many of the requested rights without undermining traditional marriage. Gay rights group Equality Maryland [advocacy website] claimed the bill had nothing to do with marriage and noted that some of the requested rights could not be secured under the existing law [press release]. The Washington Post has more.