Maryland Delegate Don Dwyer has failed in his bid to impeach Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler for his favorable gay marriage opinion, Southern Maryland Online reported.

Dwyer, a Republican, offered impeachment charges against the state's top lawyer Wednesday on the House floor – a move widely publicized by Dwyer.

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. 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. The opinion arrived a week before a gay marriage law took effect in neighboring District of Columbia on March 3.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has endorsed the opinion, saying it's “sound advice.”

Dwyer cited “willful neglect of duty” in offering his charges against Gansler during the House's morning session.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch, a Democrat, proposed moving the issue to the House Judiciary Committee over the objections of Dwyer, who insisted only the House has the authority to impeach an elected official.

Dwyer called the committee's hearing “a kangaroo court” and refused to testify.

Raquel Guillory, Gansler's spokeswoman, dismissed the charges, calling the proceedings a “political stunt that never should have been allowed to take place.”

Dwyer received little support at the hearing, even among GOP leaders who passed on speaking up.

Other Republican lawmakers have attempted to legislate away Gansler's opinion by offering bills that would forbid the state from recognizing such marriages.

Only 5 out of 22 committee members voted in favor of Dwyer's impeachment attempt – including, presumably, Dwyer, who also sits on the committee.

Gansler's opinion makes gay marriage in Maryland a de facto reality for gay and lesbian couples willing to cross the border into the District of Columbia to marry. New York also recognizes the marriages of gay couples performed outside its borders.