Mayor Bloomberg gives $500,000 in support of same-sex marriage campaigns

October 24, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $250,000 earlier this month to support campaigns for same-sex marriage in Maryland, citing his education at Johns Hopkins as a reason for his closeness to issues in the state.

“I was proud to support the successful push for marriage equality in New York state, and I’m proud to stand with supporters around the country,” Bloomberg said in a press release.  “I do not believe that government has any business telling one class of couples that they cannot marry.”

Kevin Nix, communications director for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the group advocating same-sex marriage in Maryland, commended Bloomberg for his donation.

“Bloomberg is continuing to show leadership on this issue and this [donation] only cements his dedication,” Nix said.

Question 6, which would legalize same-sex marriage in the state of Maryland,  will be voted on Nov. 6. If passed, Maryland would be one of the few states in the country to have same-sex marriage ratified by voters.

“It’s going to be close,” Nix said. “[Bloomberg’s donation] really helps get the message out. Bloomberg’s successful push for marriage equality in New York has definitely provided motivation to similar campaigns across the country.”

Valeria Rotella, Tisch freshman and Maryland resident, said Bloomberg’s active support of marriage equality speaks well of him.

“The opposition to same-sex marriage in Maryland comes from a generational and religious divide, and frankly, this opposition makes up the minority of state opinion,” Rotella said.

But Gina Hong, a Gallatin student and a worker for NYU’s LGBTQ office, was less enthusiastic about the Maryland measure.

“So much of the political movement for gay rights acts like same-sex marriage is the be-all, end-all of success,” Hong said. “Just because Maryland passes a same-sex marriage law doesn’t mean that the state will be any better or safer for anyone there.”

LGBT Rights clinic professor Victoria Neilson disagreed.

“I think that Mayor Bloomberg’s support for marriage equality, both in New York last year and in this election cycle, has been invaluable” Neilson said. “Having a centrist, independent politician supporting marriage equality, because it’s the right thing to do, speaks volumes about how far the LGBT rights movement has come and how far Mayor Bloomberg has come on this issue.”

Bloomberg announced on Monday he had made a $500,000 donation for the same campaign in the states of Maine, Minnesota and Washington, all of which have same-sex marriage referendums on the ballot this November.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Oct. 24 print edition. Andrew Karpan is a staff writer. Email him at cstate@nyunews.com. 

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