‘Gay Marriage Vote Made Me Drink and Crash My Powerboat’

To hear the anti-gay folks talk, gay marriage has been responsible for a lot. Natural disasters, gun crimes, you name it. Now one state delegate is claiming that Maryland’s gay marriage vote played a big part in him crashing his powerboat in an incident that injured four children.

The Maryland lawmaker in question, Delegate Don Dwyer, who is an Anne Arundel County Republican, has kept a relatively low profile since the incident on August 22 of last year when Dwyer’s powerboat collided with that of Mark Harbin’s on the Magothy River. Harbin had been out water-tubing with his grandchildren and neighbors. Four of the children were injured in the crash. It later emerged that alcohol was found on Dwyer’s boat and Dwyer soon confessed to having been drinking before the incident occurred.

Speaking to the Maryland Gazette, Dwyer contends that the media sensationalized the story but admits that he does indeed have a drinking problem, saying that two things played a big part in increasing his drinking by “100%”: estrangement from his wife, and failing to block Maryland’s gay marriage legislation.

He told the Maryland Gazette:

Dwyer says he felt sold out when Dels. Tiffany Alston, Wade Kach and Bob Costa voted for same-sex marriage, an issue he spent years crusading against.


Kach, a Republican from Baltimore County, and Alston, a former Democrat from Prince George’s County, voted against the bill in committee. But Kach changed his vote after hearing testimony from gay couples. Alston shifted her vote after her amendment was adopted.

Kach and Costa, of Deale, were the only two House Republicans to vote for the bill. It passed the House by two votes in February.

“I had no time to do anything,” Dwyer said. “Had I known earlier, I could have taken some action.”


“That betrayal really affected me,” he said. “I was physically ill. You pour your heart into an issue like that and it’s devastating.”

Dwyer has maintained, however, that he is not responsible for the crash and hopes that, following his recovery (he’s now in rehab) he may still win re-election — that is, after the results of the boating accident court case are known later this year.

Delegate Dwyer’s very public, and nautical, fall from grace, and his now appearing to partially blame the gay marriage vote, are notable given that Dwyer had made a career out of aggressively trying to block gay rights progress. For instance, he had very publicly decried the 2004 Massachusetts ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, stating that it indoctrinated kids in the state into accepting homosexuality.

As the Washington Blade also points out, Dwyer in 2006 tried to remove Baltimore Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdoch from the bench after she concluded that Maryland’s gay marriage ban was unconstitutional, a tactic he tried again when he attempted to impeach Attorney General Doug Gansler after Gansler decided in 2010 that Maryland should, per state law at the time, be recognizing same-sex marriages that were conducted out of state.

When it comes to the acceptability of marriage equality, the tide has certainly turned since those days when Dwyer’s opinion would have found majority support. There are at the moment no less than seven states where marriage equality legislation is being touted, with Rhode Island, Illinois, Delaware and New Jersey all looking like good candidates for the next marriage equality win, while Minnesota is threatening to surprise with a grassroots effort.

In somewhat related news, the Supreme Court of the United States recently announced that it will hear the Defense of Marriage Act case and Proposition 8 case this coming March, potentially setting up 2013 to be a blockbuster year for marriage equality.

It seems if Delegate Dwyer would like to win re-election, he may need to tone down the anti-gay posturing, for it seems that ship has most definitely sailed.


Related Reading:

Anti-LGBT Minister: Sandy Is God’s Judgment on Gays

Gay Marriage Will Make France ‘A Land of Homos,’ Says Senator

Watch Out: Gay Wedding Songs Cause Biblical Floods


Image Credit: Thinkstock.


Beth M.
Beth M5 years ago

Dwyer, stop blaming everything but yourself. You're an alcoholic.

Stephen S.
Stephen L5 years ago

I agree with most of what you say, JACarleton. I'm not so sure you should be saying it to Cyan. If, as we suspect, he is in the closet then he has all the grief he needs. Cut him some slack, let him work out his inner demons. Much better that he should come out to a welcoming world.

JACarlton Author
jill c5 years ago


As for "lifestyle" and your ridiculous use of the word as if it's an aspersion... you too have a lifestyle. Perhaps it's heterosexual, perhaps its closeted, perhaps you go clubbing, perhaps you go to movies, perhaps you have a house, perhaps you have a trailer, perhaps you like to tailgate at sporting events... perhaps you like to bed a different woman every night in the hopes that you can secure your belief in your own heterosexuality... those are all part of YOUR lifestyle, and You TOO have CHOSEN it! So try not to bandy-about expressions carelessly or as part of an argument unless you have taken the time to really consider their meaning. You reveal a great deal about yourself when you do so.

JACarlton Author
jill c5 years ago

Cyan, your arguments are irrational, ill conceived and full of holes.

Others have and will correct you on the nature of homosexuality or heterosexuality and the FACT that either orientation is NATURAL.

I'll educate you on homophobia. A phobia is, by its very definition, an IRRATIONAL FEAR that has NO BASIS IN EXPERIENCE.

A FEAR - is the result of an experience.

Using those definitions it is plain to see that homophobia is by its very definition an IRRATIONAL FEAR OF HOMOSEXUALS. Emphasis on IRRATIONAL.

Now... if you have had experience being homosexual and have suffered instances and events that have caused you to be afraid to BE homosexual, then you have every right to your fear.

You also have every right to the irrationality of your homophobia, as others have suggested, it's possible that you are afraid to face your own sexuality. That's your business.

What is NOT your business is using your own IRRATIONAL and BASELESS PHOBIA to spread hate and intolerance.

Most heterosexuals, at least those who are reasonably well educated and fairly secure in their sexuality don't give a hoot about orientation, we're more concerned with the idea that peoples unalienable rights not be denied them just because of that orientation.

It is those like you whose own hatred is what they see mirrored in the faces of the victims of your animosity.

As for "lifestyle" and your ridiculous use of the word as if it's an aspersion... you too have a lifestyle. Perha

paul m.
paul m5 years ago

Don Dwyer in charge of anything,wants to be re-elected ,, now if he did get back in ,,
he would make me drink and I would crash my power-boat.

I'd like to know what he would put on his insurence form ,,"No it wasen't the drink that made me crash,It was the vote on "gay-marriage" so am I covered ?

Stephen S.
Stephen L5 years ago

I should have said, Cyan, that you will find no criticism from me or anyone I know if you choose to come out. Its your choice to remain in the closet or not, and I won't judge you, no matter what you decide.

Stephen S.
Stephen L5 years ago

You make some excellent points, Heather. However, I am afraid they are wasted on Cyan, to whom logic is an unknown language. But let me ask him about one of them.

Cyan, is it possible that your aversion to homosexuals is an attempt on your part to conceal, even from yourself, that you are gay? Every heterosexual I know, including myself, is willing to live and let live. You are so vehement in your denunciation of gays that I wonder if you aren't desperately trying to cover up your own homosexuality.

Heather G.
Heather G5 years ago

Cyan, your arguments have many flaws.

For one thing being bigoted toward people who are gay is NOT part of being straight. It's more likely to be the trait of someone who is struggling against their own urges to be gay.

For another thing being gay doesn't make someone unable to reproduce!!!!! Where did you ever get that idea? And who is more likely to reproduce "unnaturally"? Infertile STRAIGHT couples!!!!!

And another thing re: rights. You're confusing the bible with the US constitution!!!

And yet another thing, gay people who oppose "heteros" as you say aren't opposing man-woman relationships, they are opposing the double standards being forced on them by people like you who think you're superior only because you were born (maybe) straight.

I agree this is a moral issue rather than a scientific issue. But what is moral about choosing to live your life as a BIGOT??? For that is what you really have chosen.

Cyan Dickirs
Cyan Dickirs5 years ago

Luvenia: cont'd To be consistent, the homosexual community should support homophobia as a natural sexual orientation that they are born with. After all, it would seem more likely that heterosexuality is genetically based since heterosexual behavior produces offspring where homosexual behavior does not. So, heterosexual orientation must be genetically natural, should be supported as a normal behavior, should not be ridiculed, should have civil rights protection, and be promoted in schools and the media. And, homosexuals who accuse heteros of being homophobic should be labeled as heterphobes. Otherwise, the obvious double-standard offered by the homosexual community will once again rear its ugly head."
See the The Quarterly Review of Biology and Comparative twin study on the genetic aspects of male homosexuality.
Kallmann, Franz J.
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Vol 115, 1952, 283-298
for more info on science.
This is a moral issue, not a scientific one.

Cyan Dickirs
Cyan Dickirs5 years ago

Luvenia: Ad hominem attack. Don't let the lack of facts get in the way of your illogical rant. You have no clue of the meanings of words. Please stand up and make more people understand what true bigotry, racism, ego and ignorance are. If homosexuals are "born that way" then so are heterosexuals and therefore homophobia is natural, innate as homosexuals oppose heteros so vehemently they find it necessary to shore up their (homosexuals) bigotry towards heteros by redefining words and demanding approval of the homosexual lifestyles.
Science? Where is your science? Even the evolutionists are puzzled by and have no explanation for homosexuality because it violates the principles of evolution via natural selection as no homosexual can reproduce naturally. Recent articles in scientific journals show that genetics (inherited traits) are not the "cause" of homosexuality. Even twin studies cannot explain homosexuality genetically, but if we accept that it is, the implication is that since they are said to be born gay, then it is normal and morally acceptable. Homosexuality is not genetically based, according to the studies, therefore, " homosexuality is a learned behavior and should be called a preference, not an orientation. It would mean that "heteros" should not be urged to change their "orientation," nor should they be ridiculed for opposing homosexuality -- since they are born that way. To be consistent, the homosexual community should support homophobia as a natural sexual o