Just hours after promoting his same-sex marriage legislation at an Annapolis news conference, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) sent an e-mail to his campaign supporters Tuesday seeking donations for a group lobbying for the bill’s passage.


Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks in support of a same-sex marriage bill during a news conference in front of supporters in Annapolis, Md., Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. (Patrick Semansky/Associated Press)

“A contribution of $25, $100, $500 or more would be of great value in our fight to ensure fairness and equality for all Marylanders,” O’Malley says in the e-mail. “Please help in any way you can.”

The solicitation seeks money for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a coalition trying to build support for the bill O’Malley introduced late Monday.

Under Maryland law, the governor is prohibited from soliciting campaign contributions during the 90-day legislative session for any “political committee attached to the governor.”

Aides said Tuesday that they are confident the prohibition does not apply to outside groups, even in cases when they are supportive of the governor’s agenda. They noted that O’Malley is also free to raise money for the Democratic Governors Association, which he chairs.

Tuesday’s solicitation was sent out under the green O’Malley-Brown campaign logo and includes a photo from Tuesday’s news conference, held on the front steps of Government House, where O’Malley lives.

“Yesterday, we introduced the Civil Marriage Protection Act,” O’Malley says in the e-mail. “It balances equal protection of the law for every individual with free exercise of religion without government interference. I hope that you can and will show your support of this bill, by making a contribution to Marylanders for Marriage Equality today.”

O’Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said the e-mail reflects the governor’s recognition that work remains to be done to pass the bill. Similar legislation failed last year in the House of Delegates.

“It’s going to take a broader effort to communicate and educate the public on the issue,” Abbruzzese said.