A Maryland lawmaker who vehemently opposes same-sex marriage told reporters on Thursday that he was drinking before the boat he was operating crashed into another vessel last night.
“It is true that I was drinking while operating my boat yesterday,” said Del. Don Dwyer (R-Anne Arundel County) during a brief press conference outside Shock Trauma in Baltimore. WBAL posted a video of his remarks on their website. “It has also been reported that my blood alcohol content was 0.2. No one, no one should be drinking and operating a motor vehicle or power boat. I deeply regret my actions and ask for forgiveness from the public.”
The Maryland Natural Resource Police said paramedics transported three adults and four children to local hospitals after Dwyer’s boat collided with a 20-foot Bayliner on the Magothy River near Gibson Island around 7 p.m. on Wednesday. A salvage company later recovered Dwyer’s vessel that sank after the collision.
Dwyer, 54, has been a member of the House of Delegates since 2003.
He told fellow lawmakers during the debate on the same-sex marriage bill in February that the legalization of nuptials for gays and lesbians in Massachusetts in 2004 indoctrinated the state’s public school students on homosexuality. Marylanders will vote in a November referendum on the law that Gov. Martin O’Malley signed. Dwyer, who has introduced several measures that would have amended the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, tried to remove Baltimore Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdoch from the bench in 2006 after she found Maryland’s ban on nuptials for gays and lesbians unconstitutional. He also sought to impeach Attorney General Doug Gansler following his 2010 announcement that the state would recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other jurisdictions.
Dwyer, who spoke to reporters in a wheelchair while wearing a neck brace and a bandage on his left foot before nurses brought him back into the hospital, did not indicate whether he would step down. Neither he nor his office immediately returned the Blade’s request for comment on his political future.
“I’ll leave that to his own reflections,” said gay state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County.)
Sargent Brian Albert of the Maryland Natural Resource Police told the Blade that his agency’s investigation into the accident continues.
“Delegate Dwyer’s admission to drinking prior to operating the vessel will not alter our investigation,” he said. “NRP will reconstruct the accident and complete a thorough investigation prior to charging. Usually it takes approximately 30 days for a blood kit analysis to return. When NRP receives the results proper charges will be placed.”