The Governor and the Football Player Walk Into a Bar to Support Gay Marriage

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No it’s not a set-up for a joke — it’s more like a team we wouldn’t mind joining:  last night, Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley joined forces in support of marriage equality (and foosball) in a fundraiser at Federal Hill bar Mother’s last night.
This was pretty much the opposite of a $500-a-plate dinner. Marylanders for Marriage Equality set up the event, which was intended to celebrate those who’ve donated between $5 and $50 to the cause. They selected a few dozen of those supporters at random; those lucky few got to hang out at the bar with the governor and the football player. You know, just your average Monday night.

Marriage equality is on the Maryland ballot this year (Question 6!), and both O’Malley and Ayanbadejo are doing their part to try and make Maryland the first state in the U.S. to pass marriage equality by popular vote. Now wouldn’t that look nice in the history books?

Meanwhile, both men are getting something of a career boost through their advocacy. Ayanbadejo’s Twitter feed has been blowing up ever since he first started speaking out on the issue, and he may appear on Ellen DeGeneres’s talk show later this month. “I’m a product of a biracial family,” the linebacker told the Advocate last week. “There was a time when people of two different races couldn’t get married. [Marriage equality] was just a relevant issue that I needed to speak out about.” Meanwhile, O’Malley clearly has plenty to gain politically if the referendum passes. But marriage equality opponents are also working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen, of course. Television ads opposing marriage equality — including one starring Ayanbadejo’s teammate, Matt Birk — start airing this week.

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