2012 Election | Gay Marriage | Law - Gay, LGBT | Martin O'Malley | Maryland

Building The War Chest For Marriage Equality In Maryland

220px-Martin_O'Malley_2010Last week, Marylanders for Marriage Equality announced an almost impossibly star-studded fundraising banquet to be held on September 13th. The guest list: Susan Sarandon, Sean Avery, Barbara Bush, Josh Charles, Thom Browne, Andy Cohen, Tom Colicchio, Julianne Moore, Edward Norton, Hilary Rhoda, Russell Simmons, John Waters, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julianna Margulies, Keith Lieberthall, Cornelia Guest, Kathleen Keener, Paul Boskind, Tonio Burgos, Brian Ellner, Ryan Greenwalt, Charles Myers, Ken Mehlman, Charles John O'Byrne, Larry Poston, David Rabin, Johnny Swet, and Maryland's Governor Martin O'Malley (pictured right). Wow!

The banquet's venue isn't in Maryland, probably because it's easier to move the banquet to its various VIPs than to move all the VIPs to Maryland. It's in SoHo, in Manhattan: the extraordinary James Hotel. Tix run from $250 a head to $25,000 for a top-shelf sponsorship package.

In November, Maryland may become the first state in the country to affirm marriage equality in a ballot referendum. Along with Maine and Washington, it'll be the first state to put marriage to the vote since Barack Obama and the NAACP came out in favor of equality. From the New York Times:

"The two biggest factors for us this year are that it’s 2012, and public attitudes have continued to evolve,” said Josh Levin, the director of Marylanders for Marriage Equality. “When the president talked about how his position has evolved over the course of some years, there are a lot of people for whom that’s the case.”

The ballot language will also be different in Maryland. In the other 32 states where voters have been asked about the issue, the referendum question was phrased so that a vote in favor of the measure was a vote to reject same-sex marriage. In Maryland, ballots will ask the question in the affirmative and will explain that there will be an exemption for religious groups.

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  1. Technically, tied for first. Washington state and Maine also have marriage equality on the ballot.

    Posted by: Ryan | Aug 26, 2012 2:53:11 PM

  2. Right! Thanks. - BKT

    Posted by: Brandon K. Thorp | Aug 26, 2012 3:32:30 PM

  3. Aren't the Maine and Washington ballots asking the poll question in the affirmative as well?

    Posted by: Mitchell | Aug 26, 2012 3:43:07 PM

  4. Wow, he might be the best looking politician I have ever seen.

    Posted by: Michael | Aug 26, 2012 3:57:11 PM

  5. I think the NYT article explained it might be the first because the polls in MD close one hour earlier than they do in ME.

    Kind of lame, but that was the claim.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Aug 26, 2012 4:02:17 PM

  6. I certainly hope that MD votes in favor of equality -- BUT and it's a big BUT...I don't think rights should be voted upon -- not at all by anyone...That's why they are RIGHTS.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Aug 26, 2012 4:29:16 PM

  7. I know most people think we should let bygones be bygones and embrace anyone now willing to lend a hand toward the fight for marriage equality, but it still rankles me that Ken 'Horse-face' Mehlman and any blood relative of George W. Bush are allowed to participate in these events.

    And Brandon, I believe you mean Catherine Keener...not Kathleen Keener.

    Posted by: peterparker | Aug 26, 2012 4:31:33 PM

  8. And I totally agree with what ALEX PARRISH posted!

    Posted by: peterparker | Aug 26, 2012 4:32:21 PM

  9. Barbara Bush? Do we really want a supporter who said of Katrina refugees, "What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this (chuckle) – this is working very well for them."?

    Posted by: ChristopherM | Aug 26, 2012 5:37:49 PM

  10. ChristpherM: I assume it's not Barbara Bush, the 87 year-old former First Lady, but Barbara Bush, her 31 year-old granddaughter.

    Posted by: BABH | Aug 26, 2012 5:59:43 PM

  11. Maryland leans heavily Democratic, but it's also very, very Catholic. I hope they vote in favor of equality, but I'm skeptical. Prove me wrong Maryland!

    Voting on other people's civil rights is still offensive.

    Posted by: Dagoril | Aug 26, 2012 11:06:31 PM

  12. Actually, Catholics are one of the constituencies MOST likely to support marriage equality.

    I think we still have some work to do with the African-American community which is also a very large voting constituency in Maryland.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 26, 2012 11:33:31 PM

  13. Yes indeed. Fortunately, American Catholics are often not as "conservative" as their freaky Prada-wearing nutcase church leadership would like them to be. I have hope for Maryland: you'd be surprised that even people who send their kids to Catholic school will proudly call themselves democrats and are (presumably) gay friendly. That being said, it's going to be really close. The African-American community is making progress (they need to learn to ignore their "church leadership" as well - and listen to people like Al Sharpton) but I don't know if they are going to get there in time. If it passes it will be a squeaker. OTOH, we shouldn't be too discouraged if it doesn't, since, once again, the demographics will show that it's the old people who are the main block voting against it.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Aug 27, 2012 2:32:19 AM

  14. Governor O'Malley is definitely a hottie. I saw him
    (then Mayor) at the Maryland Athletic Club in Baltimore back in 2004 and his body matches the face. Especially his beefy arms! He also plays in an Irish Rock band. He is just super-dreamy. See if there are any pics f him on the Internet from the snowstorms in 2008. He looks like the Brawny man in real life in his flannel!

    Posted by: Jack | Aug 27, 2012 9:14:08 AM

  15. One floor contains more than 400 antique watchmaking tools from The early 1900s that illustrate how the watchmaking process has evolved.

    Posted by: replicated watches | Aug 29, 2012 12:06:32 PM

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