News (USA)

Anti-gay Maryland lawmaker who crashed boat admits he was operating while impaired

BALTIMORE, Md. — Maryland Republican lawmaker Donald Dwyer, a vehement opponent of same-sex marriage and LGBT rights, has admitted to being under the influence of alcohol when he crashed his boat into another boat carrying four adults and five children.

Dwyer’s boat collided with the other boat on the Magothy River in Maryland on Wednesday around 7 p.m.; Dwyer was accompanied by one male passenger, identified as John Moran IV, a former police officer.

Donald Dwyer

Seven of the boat’s nine passengers were transported to area hospitals.

A five-year-old girl was the most seriously injured; she was airlifted to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore via MedEvac helicopter. Authorities said her injuries are not life threatening. Dwyer himself was also injured and he was transported to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

Sgt. Brian Albert, a spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources Police, said investigators had suspected alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Dwyer has been a vocal opponent of LGBT rights in Maryland.

Earlier this year, during a debate on the state’s same-sex marriage bill, Dwyer told fellow lawmakers that the legalization of nuptials for gays and lesbians in Massachusetts in 2004 indoctrinated the state’s public school students on homosexuality. He also told a legislative committee that any state delegate that testified in favor of the bill should be “arrested for perjury” because saying that gay people deserve equality “is a lie and they know it.”

Dwyer has also introduced several measures that would have amended the state constitution to define marriage as solely between a man and a woman.

In March, Dwyer made headlines by calling for Maryland’s Attorney General, Doug Gansler, to be impeached. Dwyer said Gansler violated his oath by allowing same-sex marriages from other states to be recognized in Maryland.

At a news conference Thursday, Dwyer expressed regret for his actions. In a statement, he revealed his blood alcohol content was 0.2 — more than twice the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle.

Dwyer sat in a wheelchair with a neck brace on and a cast around his left foot during the news conference. He spoke from prepared statements and answered no questions from the press corps before being wheeled back into the hospital by a nurse.

Dwyer could face several criminal charges if police blood tests confirm his blood alcohol content was 0.2. In addtion, Maryland law stipulates that a legislator convicted of a felony crime or a crime of “moral turpitude” must relinquish his or her seat.

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