Sharpton cuts ad for Maryland same-sex marriage campaign

The Rev. Al Sharpton is the latest same-sex marriage supporter to appear in an ongoing Web video campaign pushing for legalization of gay nuptials in Maryland.

“As a Baptist minister, I don’t have the right to impose my beliefs on anyone else,” Sharpton says in the ad, the 11th produced by Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a group lobbying for passage of a bill in the 90-day legislative session. “So if committed gay and lesbian couples want to marry, that’s their business. None of us should stand in their way.”

Sharpton, who is also a civil-rights activist, former presidential candidate and cable television talk show host, resides in New York. Most others featured in the Web campaign have been Marylanders.

Sultan Shakir, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, said Sharpton is “one of the most recognized voices in the country when it comes to pursuing basic fairness. We are grateful that such a tireless advocate has lent his voice to help make all Maryland families stronger.”

The high-profile ad comes as both sides are fighting a rematch over legislation that passed that Senate last year but fell short in the House of Delegates.

Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who is sponsoring this year’s bill, is scheduled to appear Tuesday night on Sharpton’s MSNBC program, “PoliticsNation.”

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.

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