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February 26, 2010

Same-sex politics

In perhaps the opening salvo of the “sex wars” that observers say Attorney General Doug Gansler's controversial gay-union opinion could instigate, budding politician Justin M. Towles decided to make a public stand in support of the state's AG.

Hours after Gansler issued an opinion that Maryland should honor same-sex marriages perfromed out-of-state, Towles' foe, conservative Republican Del. Don Dwyer called for Gansler to be impeached.

Towles, an Anne Arundel County Democrat, criticized the incumbent saying Dwyer’s call for impeachment both “unstatesman-like” and “radical.”

“This is yet another example of how Delegate Dwyer's extremist views divert attention and crucial resources from the real problems facing Marylanders, and continue to isolate the 31st District from mainstream policy discussions,” wrote Towles.

Dwyer, who opposes gay unions, says that Gansler should not have issued a fresh opinion because the Attorney General’s office in 2004 wrote an advisory letter that said out-of-state same sex-marriages should not be accepted here. With no change in Maryland law since that date, Dwyer says, there should not have been a new opinion.

** UPDATE: Del. Dwyer responded, saying he'd like to debate Towles and the other two Democrats in the race. See comments below.  

Posted by Annie Linskey at 12:32 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Families, General Assembly 2010


"Hours after Gansler issued an opinion that Maryland should honor same-sex marriages perfromed out-of-state, Towles' foe, conservative Republican Del. Don Dwyer called for Gansler to be impeached. "

So now we impeach judges because we disagree with their decisions? Impeach Dwyer.

Then, let's start with Scalia and three others...

Dwyer is rabid and makes no sense. The AG opinion is just that... an opinion. It has no legal weight exept as a good faith guess of what the law will be so as to guide state administrative agencies.

The political and legal landscape has changed dramatically since the 2004 AG opinion, and Gansler's report reflects reality.

Justin Towles - Thanks so much for your vote of confidence. I have challenged the three of you to a public debate at the Stony Creek Democrat club. I hope you will take me up on my challenge.

Constitutionally yours,
Delegate Don Dwyer
AACO Dist. 31 Incumbent

I guess the delegate thinks that throwing down the challenge to a debate is sufficient. I would really like to hear him answer the question as to why the AG should be impeached for issuing an opinion, a part of his job. Further, should Gansler's opinion coincided with Mr. Dwyer's, if that would not be reason to impeach Gansler.
Dwyer's actions are very typical of the problem with both sides in the political world today. If we don't agree with someone, we attack with the most outrageous, over the top type of reactions.
So, Mr. Dwyer, if you were elected to the AG office, would it be ok to be booted out of office for having issuing an opinion that some find objectionable?

Excuse me Justin M. Towles? Since when is supporting traditional marriage considered an "extremist view"?

Seems YOU sir are the extremist and completely out of touch with reality!

You are also a COWARD if you refuse the debate with Del Dwyer. Are you a COWARD Justin M. Towles? Well punk, Are you?

Ok, folks, for those of you not familiar with Maryland politics, allow me to clue you in with what is happening here.

First, unless they are candidates in a general election, non-incumbent political candidates are almost never given the forum of a major newspaper to express their views. Newspapers simply do not give just any idiot running for office the benefit of putting their names out there on the front page. Unless, of course, the newspaper is the Baltimore Sun and the pre-primary political candidate happens to be an aide to Governor O'Malley, as is Justin Towles. In this case Mr. Towles gets a front page mention.

Second, Delegate Don Dwyer is a moron. He won in 2002 because he stood out all day long, everyday, on the Route 100 overpass with a "Family Values" sign. Give him a point for knowing about name recognition. He barely won in 2006, and by 26 absentee ballot votes, because we - his constituents - began to figure he's a lunatic. In a heavily conservative district, even a Republican like Dwyer is weak.

Sum it up and you can see that the Baltimore Sun is doing O'Malley a favor by pushing early in the 2010 state elections for his aide against a weak Republican incumbent. We'll see more of this in the coming months.

(From Annie Linskey: To be clear, Mr. Towles name has not appeared anywhere in the print edition of the Baltimore Sun - 1a or elsewhere.)

How can the Attorney General overrule a previous opinion without changes to the law? Especially once so recent? i'm not sure that merits impeachment, but it is certainly a very questionable practice.

Delegate Dwyer,

I am more than happy to accept your offer to debate at the Stoney Creek Democratic Club. While I believe a one-on-one debate would be the most productive for both sides, if you convince your two delegation colleagues to participate, I would be happy to inquire with the other Democratic candidates. Either way, I look forward to scheduling the debate with you as soon as possible.


Justin Towles
Candidate for House of Delegates
District 31

I hope someone could film this and post it online.

Mr. Dwyer is a relic, a throw back to the antiquated age of Bushism. Calling for an impeachment for an AG opinion is extreme, but this emotional demand is deeply rooted in a mental-mess which I look forward to hearing. This threat to impeach is instrumental in fear mongering, to mislead the public and falsely shape opinion.

The recent Prop 8 trial has brought to light the need to demonize and demoralize our LGBT citizens by such politicals. I hope for Mr. Dwyer's sake he has something more substantial in his arsenal. The Bush days of marginalizing the gay folk are disappearing. But as we saw in this ongoing Prop 8 trial, the defense for 'traditional' marriage have nothing, except their desperate slippery-slope arguments.

Bob Barnes

could you please inform us when this debate will take place! wouldnt want to miss this.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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