BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There’s new high-profile support in Maryland’s same-sex marriage debate. With less than a month to go until Election Day, both sides are taking to the airwaves, and the governor and a star Ravens player pushed to sway voters Monday night.

Kai Jackson has more on the unprecedented event.

The voters will decide whether same-sex marriage becomes legal in Maryland. Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo is among those who support it.

Ayanbadejo and his family appeared at Mother’s Bar in Federal Hill.

“Awesome of you to do this. Thanks very, very much,” Governor Martin O’Malley told Ayanbadejo.

“Well, I’m glad that we could do it together,” Ayanbadejo replied.

He joined Governor O’Malley in support of same-sex marriage. They hope it will pass on the November ballot.

“Now it’s time for gay rights and we’re gonna get that straight. Just a matter of time; gonna be patient about it and November’s gonna be a very important day,” Ayanbadejo said.

It was billed as a Monday Night Football event where supporters of the issue paid $25 to raise funds for the cause and hang out with the all-pro linebacker and the governor.

“They all contributed so they deserve our time and we’re very appreciative of them contributing to our cause,” Ayanbadejo said.

“I have all the praise for him for standing up for equal rights and he’s in a tough field for people that may have a different opinion and may take it out in a physical fashion,” said Juanita Deans.

Ayanbadejo has been a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage, citing his biracial heritage and upbringing in California as experiences that opened his mind.

Just as Ayanbadejo has been an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage, his teammate, Ravens center Matt Birk, has been an outspoken opponent of it.

“We don’t need to redefine marriage,” Birk said.

“We actually haven’t talked about the issue. It hasn’t affected our relationship at all. If anything, it’s maybe made us a little bit closer,” Ayanbadejo said.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh says the team has no problem with different viewpoints, as long as everyone’s opinion is respected.


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