Third time was not the charm for
Maryland Delegate Don Dwyer's ongoing attempt to end gay marriage
recognition in Maryland.
On the House floor Friday, the
Republican lawmaker offered an amendment that would forbid the state
from recognizing gay marriages performed outside its borders to a
bill that would boost the cost of a marriage license in Baltimore.
An opinion by Maryland Attorney General
Douglas F. Gansler released in February directs state agencies to
recognize out-of-state legal gay marriages over the objections of a
state law that bans such unions. The opinion arrived a week before a
gay marriage law took effect on March 3 in neighboring District of
Columbia. Governor Martin O'Malley has endorsed the opinion, saying
it's “sound advice.”
Dwyer's amendment would reverse
House Parliamentarian and Delegate
Kathleen Dumais called the amendment unconstitutional and in
violation of the single-subject rule.
“This is a bill that deals with
revenues,” Dumais said. “The only thing the amendment and the
bill have in common is the word marriage. But that's not enough to
get it beyond the single-subject rule.”
An emphatic Dwyer disagreed and urged
the chamber to take up the issue.
“This amendment clearly is on the
subject of marriage, it clearly is covered in the family law article.
I believe clearly this amendment is appropriate and if we don't
allow this amendment to stand, I think this assembly is passing a
tremendous opportunity to deal with the most recent attorney
general's opinion that we have discussed ad nauseam in this chamber,”
“We have an opportunity to deal with
this issue right here and right now. And I would ask the courtesy of
the assembly to do that for future generations that are going to come
behind us and that we would stand up and do what we're called up to
do in regards to the issue of recognition of out-of-state same-sex
marriages. I encourage you to do that.”
Democrats threw out the amendment on
Last week, the House decided against
Dwyer's bid to impeach Gansler for his favorable gay marriage
opinion. Raquel Guillory, Gansler's spokeswoman, dismissed the
charges, calling the proceedings a “political stunt that never
should have been allowed to take place.”
And a Dwyer-sponsored bill would define
marriage as a heterosexual union in the Maryland Constitution. The
bill (1079) remains locked up in the House Judiciary Committee.
Other Maryland lawmakers have introduced bills that would forbid the
state from recognizing gay marriages from other jurisdictions.