NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has taken his support of same-sex marriage national by donating $250,000 to support the Maryland ballot initiative aimed at legalizing same-sex marriage.
“I do not believe that government has any business telling one class of couples that they cannot marry,” Bloomberg wrote in an e-mail, that was distributed by Maryland marriage equality supporters, according to The New York Times.
“The next great barrier to full equality under the law is marriage equality. There is no doubt in my mind this barrier will fall, just as so many others have,” he said.
Mr. Bloomberg’s donation, which was announced on Friday, is the largest individual contribution received by proponents of same-sex marriage in Maryland, where voters will face a referendum in November on whether to affirm or reject a state law passed this year to allow gay couples to marry.
Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire who attended college in Maryland at Johns Hopkins, dipped into his personal fortune to help persuade New York lawmakers to approve same-sex marriage in 2011, and he has supported a similar effort in New Hampshire. His contribution came after discussions with Maryland’s governor, Martin O’Malley, a Democrat who has spearheaded the effort to pass the referendum, known as Question 6.
Bloomberg also contributed to efforts in the 2011 campaign that led to the successful legalization of same-sex marriage in New York, and has made contributions to efforts in New Hampshire.
O’Malley said he hoped that Bloomberg’s generosity would prompt additional donations to Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a colaition working to pass the ballot initiative.
“A contribution as generous as this is certainly a big help to us,” said O’Malley. “The fact that someone of Mayor Bloomberg’s national stature and recognition would care about our referendum campaign for civil marriage equality, I think, tells people all over our country that this is a serious and real campaign.”
Bloomberg has made a series of donations to political candidates and social causes — in February, he gave a matching gift of $250,000 to Planned Parenthood after it lost financing from a breast cancer advocacy organization.