New York City Mayor Bloomberg has donated $250,000 to help uphold a same-sex marriage bill passed earlier this year in Maryland.
The New York Times reports the donation is the largest individual contribution given to support marriage equality in the state where Bloomberg attended Johns Hopkins University.
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley applauded Bloomberg's effort and said on Thursday, "The fact that someone of Mayor Bloomberg’s national stature and recognition would care about our referendum campaign for civil marriage equality, I think, tells people all over our country that this is a serious and real campaign."
When the bill was narrowly passed in February, opponents threatened to bring the legislation to a referendum in November.
At the time, Maryland Catholic Conference spokeswoman Kathy Dempse said, "The enormous public outcry that this legislation has generated – voiced by Marylanders that span political, racial, social and religious backgrounds – demonstrates a clear need to take this issue to a vote of the people."
New York City's mayor has been a vocal advocate for gay rights, having pushed for same-sex marriage in New York, and then personally contributing tens of thousands of dollars to the state's Republican senators who voted against their party and supported the legislation, which passed in June of last year.
Commenting on Maryland's upcoming vote, Bloomberg said in a statement, "I do not believe that government has any business telling one class of couples that they cannot marry. The next great barrier to full equality under the law is marriage equality. There is no doubt in my mind this barrier will fall, just as so many others have.”