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Maryland Governor to attend same-sex marriage fundraiser with Ravens’ Ayanbadejo

Maryland Governor to attend same-sex marriage fundraiser with Ravens’ Ayanbadejo

ANNAPOLIS, Md — Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is teaming up with the Baltimore Ravens’ linebacker, Brendon Ayanbadejo, for a joint appearance next month to raise money and gain support for the state’s marriage equality law.

O’Malley (D) announced in an email on Wednesday that he and Ayanbadejo will attend a Monday Night Football party and fundraiser in Baltimore on October 8.

Ayanbadejo and the Governor hope to influence Marylanders to vote in favor of the November referendum that would approve or reject the state’s same-sex marriage law.

The bill, approved by the state legislature earlier this year, was signed into law by O’Malley, but opponents collected enough signatures on the matter to force the referendum.

Ayanbadejo, an outspoken supporter of marriage equality, drew national headlines earlier this month for his public advocacy on the issue, drawing a sharp rebuke from state lawmaker, Del. Emmett Burns Jr. (D-Baltimore County). Burns, founder and pastor of Rising Sun First Baptist Church, has been a frequent and high-profile critic of same-sex marriage and in a letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, demanded that Ayanbadejo be restrained from speaking publicly on the issue.

Last Thursday, O’Malley spoke at a New York City fundraiser on behalf of the Marylanders for Marriage Equality campaign. The big-ticket fundraiser was held atop a SoHo hotel where roughly 200 guests paid between $250 and $25,000 to attend.

Some of the notables in attendance were Sarah Jessica Parker, best known for her work on HBO’s “Sex & The City,” actors Julianne Moore (who played Sarah Palin in the HBO movie “Game Change”), Edward Norton and Susan Sarandon. Barbara Bush, daughter of the former president George W. Bush attended along with former Clinton White House adviser Richard Socarides.

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