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 Gansler's opinion.

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,” he said.

“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 technical grounds.

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.