June 19, 2012 | by Michael K. Lavers
O’Malley, Busch to co-host marriage equality fundraiser
Gay News, Washington Blade, Maryland Marriage

Maryland House of Delegates Majority Leader Kumar Barve and Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and House Speaker Michael Busch (D-Anne Arundel County) are scheduled to co-host an Ocean City fundraiser for the campaign to defend the state’s same-sex marriage law next week.

The Washington Post reported that the Marylanders for Marriage Equality fundraiser will take place on Tuesday, June 26 during the Maryland Municipal League’s convention. O’Malley spokesperson Raquel Guillory confirmed to the Blade that the governor will co-host the event.

“He sponsored legislation that passed and as we move toward the election, we need to raise funds to help ensure it is successful,” she said.

The Ocean City gathering is scheduled to take place less than two weeks after Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin, state Del. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) and more than 170 others attended a Marylanders for Marriage Equality fundraiser in Baltimore. President Barack Obama on June 13 urged Maryland voters to support their state’s same-sex marriage law during a campaign event in the Charm City.

A Public Policy Polling survey in May found that 57 percent of Marylanders would support nuptials for gays and lesbians in the likely referendum. The same poll found that 55 percent of the state’s black voters back marriage rights for gays and lesbians, but the Maryland Marriage Alliance last month submitted more than double the 55,736 signatures needed to prompt a vote on the same-sex marriage law that O’Malley signed in March.

The Ocean City event will mark the first time that Busch, who had previously backed civil unions for gays and lesbians before he publicly endorsed nuptials for same-sex couples, will host a fundraiser in support of marriage equality.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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