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Maryland state legislator Don Dwyer is a religious conservative who has called himself "the face of the opposition" to gay marriage, chastising fellow legislators to reject it because Jeebus and stuff. Most Americans, however, know this self-proclaimed defender of the Constitution and freedoms and whatnot mostly from his alcohol-fueled boating crash last year (and yes, there were injuries, and yes, he's still facing charges).

In this new, miserably depressing story on Dwyer, he cites two things as the reasons for the "increased" drinking that culminated in his crash with another boat, causing him multiple injuries and fracturing the skull of a five-year-old girl. The first is his 2011 separation from his wife. The second is the pressure of being in the legislature, but more specifically, that time other legislators "betrayed" him by not being sufficiently anti-gay-marriage themselves:

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. Dwyer told reporters one day before the vote that he had enough support to block the bill.

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.”

It was petitioned to the November ballot and passed by 52 percent of voters state wide. Voters in Dwyer’s district, however, rejected it.

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

He said his drinking culminated in the crash.

So an intense hatred of gay marriage—and not having that hatred reciprocated by his fellow legislators and voters—is what drove this poor defender of proper marriage and proper faith to booze up and crash his damn boat into another boat. That's some powerful hatred, right there.

In the wake of the crash, Dwyer did not resign as any decent person might, instead gaudily announcing he needs to stay put to "defend individual liberty against unconstitutional laws," but he does admit he needs to rebuild "trust" with voters. I don't know that voters should be keen on reelecting someone whose past reaction to other people being insufficiently anti-gay was to booze up and nearly get some people killed, but I am not from Maryland, I am not a Republican voter, and Dwyer seems confident that all will be forgiven, allowing him to get back to expressing his obsessively anti-gay frustrations in some hopefully less child-skull-fracturing ways.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what it means to be an American religious conservative.

Originally posted to Hunter on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 01:11 PM PST.

Also republished by Your Government at Work, Maryland Kos, and Daily Kos.

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