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
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
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