New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has opened his wallet to try and make sure Maryland joins his state in allowing gay marriage.
Bloomberg has donated $250,000 to Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the lead group supporting Question 6 on next month’s ballot. Voters are being asked to decide if a bill signed by Governor Martin O'Malley in March making Maryland the eighth US state to approve same sex marriage should go into effect as law.
'As a business leader and mayor of New York City, I do not believe that government has any business telling one class of couples that they cannot marry,' Bloomberg says in a statement in which he notes that his state legalized same-sex marriage last year.
Gay marriage opponents in Maryland were successful in forcing a referendum before that state's law is due to go into effect (1 January, 2013). Approximately 56,000 signatures are required for a law to be put to a ballot vote. Maryland Marriage Alliance submitted 162,224 signatures - a state record for referendums.
'Maryland will always hold a special place in my heart,' Bloomberg says. 'I went to college at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and have remained active in the Hopkins community. So when Governor O’Malley asked me to support Question 6, I didn’t hesitate.'