Editor’s note: Organizers of the fundraiser told the Blade the event was closed to press and declined our request to attend. The Blade learned Friday that several other media outlets, including the Baltimore Sun, were granted access to the event.
Governor Martin O’Malley was among those who attended a star-studded New York City fundraiser for the campaign to defend Maryland’s same-sex marriage law on Thursday.
“The battle is on in Maryland and we all need to get up for this fight,” said O’Malley at the St. James Hotel in lower Manhattan. The Baltimore Sun posted a video of the governor’s remarks on his website. “There are Democrats here, there are Republicans here. There are black people here. There are white people here. There are people from every strain of life in our country here in this great city of New York and the same is true in Maryland. We are going to succeed only if we help one another.”
Gay MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, actors Edward Norton and Josh Charles, gay director John Waters, supermodel Hilary Rhoda, former professional hockey player Sean Avery and comedian Sandra Bernhard were among those who paid between $250 and $25,000 to attend the event.
“It was a great event,” said Josh Levin, campaign director of Marylanders for Marriage Equality. “It was great to have so many Maryland natives come out and join us.”
Brian Ellner, who directed the Human Rights Campaign’s efforts in support of New York’s same-sex marriage bill that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law in June 2011, co-organized the fundraiser. He pointed to what he described to the Washington Blade after the event as “tremendous energy and great turnout”
“The New York momentum is real and focused on winning in all four states in November,” added Ellner, referring to efforts to defend same-sex marriage laws or defeat proposed constitutional amendments to define marriage as between a man and a woman in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota respectfully.
Former Republican National Committee Chair Ken Mehlman, who also co-hosted the fundraiser, agreed.
“It was a great, well attended and very diverse event that brought both people who have supported marriage equality in the past, as well as new folks,” he told the Blade.
Levin declined to comment on the amount of money the fundraiser raised.