November 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
NAACP’S Bond endorses Maryland marriage effort

Former NAACP president and civil rights leader Julian Bond became the latest public figure to appear in a video endorsing a soon-to-be-introduced same-sex marriage equality bill in the Maryland Legislature.

“As Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP I know a little something about fighting for what’s right and just,” Bond says in the video. “Gay and lesbian couples in Maryland have the same values as everyone else: love, commitment and stable families.”

Sultan Shakir, campaign manager for the same-sex marriage advocacy coalition Marylanders for Marriage Equality, said Bond’s participation in the video campaign helps promote the message that all committed couples in Maryland should be protected under the law.

“We are grateful such an icon has lent his voice to the campaign at a time when momentum builds for marriage equality in the Free State,” Shakir said.

A same-sex marriage bill died in the Maryland Legislature earlier this year, but advocates say they are hopeful they have the support to pass it after the legislature convenes for its 2012 session in January.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley kicked off the video campaign last month. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and Baltimore native and Academy Award-winner Mo’Nique recorded their own videos endorsing the marriage equality bill a short time later.

Bond states in his video that gays and lesbians “should have the same right to marry as the rest of us. Join me and the people in Maryland who support marriage equality. It’s the right thing to do.”

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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