Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signs the state’s same-sex marriage law. (Photo by Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

More than 60 Washington-area chefs and at least a dozen “mixologists” are joining forces for a “Chefs for Equality” event sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights lobby.

Proceeds from the Oct. 24 event at the Ritz-Carlton in the District will be used to help try to pass Question 6 on Maryland’s ballot, according to organizers. The night is being billed as “an extravaganza of food, cocktails, fashion and music.”

The announcement of the event comes as both sides in Maryland’s same-sex marriage debate gear up for a costly ad war. At issue is whether voters should uphold a gay nuptials law signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) in March.

Opponents have spent months mobilizing through churches and civic groups in advance of a broader public campaign.

Maryland is one of three states where voters could affirm same-sex marriages at the ballot box next month — something that’s never happened before.

Much of the money raised by Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the lead group seeking to uphold Maryland's law, has come from lower-key gatherings held at homes of local supporters. But the more glitzy events hosted by the group and its allies tend to get more media attention.

Among the attractions of the “Chefs for Equality” event: the auctioning of pairs of award-winning chefs to prepare five-course meals for tables of eight.

The event’s organizers include David Hagedorn, a cookbook author and food columnist, some of whose work appears in The Washington Post.