Lawmakers in Maryland will attempt
several maneuvers to reverse state Attorney General Douglas F.
Gansler's favorable gay marriage opinion, including impeachment,
Annapolis-based The Capital reported.
Gansler's February 24 opinion concludes
that Maryland's highest court is likely to decide in favor of
recognizing gay marriages performed in other states.
The Court of Appeals “will likely
apply the principle that a marriage valid in the place of celebration
is valid in Maryland,” Gansler, a Democrat, said in a 45-page
“The opinion reaches this conclusion
in light of the evolving state policy, reflected in
anti-discrimination laws, domestic partner laws and other
legislation, that respects and supports committed intimate same-sex
relationships,” he added.
State agencies are expected to follow
the opinion and recognize the marriages of gay couples performed in
other jurisdictions over the objection of a state law that bans such
unions. Gansler's opinion arrived a week before a gay marriage law
took effect in neighboring District of Columbia on March 3.
County Delegate Don Dwyer, a Glen
Burnie Republican, said Tuesday that he will offer impeachment
charges against Gansler on March 31.
Dwyer said the opinion had created a
“constitutional crisis.” Impeachment “is about the integrity
of the institution to stand on its own as one of the three equal
branches of government,” Dwyer told the paper.
House Speaker Michael E. Bush, a
Democrat from Annapolis, has already said the chamber does not have
the authority to impeach Gansler, and has threatened to rule Dwyer
out of order if he introduces his measure.
Lawmakers will also attempt to
legislate away Gansler's opinion. Senator Nancy Jacobs, a Republican
from Harford, introduced a bill Wednesday that would forbid the state
from recognizing such marriages. A
similar bill died in a key Maryland House committee in February.