Susan Sarandon, John Waters and Ed Norton were among the celebrities helping to raise funds in support of the campaign to uphold a gay marriage law approved by Maryland lawmakers.

Voters on November 6 will decide whether the law takes effect on January 1 or is repealed.

Also attending Friday's fundraiser at James Hotel in New York City were Thomas Roberts, Sandra Bernhard, Barbara Bush and Russell Simmons. The event was organized by Josh Charles and Brian Ellner.

“The battle is on in Maryland,” Governor Martin O'Malley told the crowd. “And we all need to get up for this fight. … We are going to succeed only if we help one another.”

Baltimore native John Waters said he wanted Maryland to be the first state to win marriage equality at the polls.

“Why would anybody be against gay marriage. It's hard for me to understand. No matter what your politics are, we all know how hard it is to find anybody to fall in love with, straight or gay,” Waters said.

Opponents of marriage equality criticized the high-profile fundraiser, accusing the campaign of “trying to celebritize the issue.”

“Backed by Hollywood donors, homosexual activists are already proclaiming victory in their efforts to redefine marriage in Maryland,” Derek McCoy, executive director of Maryland Marriage Alliance, said in an e-mail to supporters. “They are taking their fundraising out of state where they can attract major donors. We know that in spite of the millions that they will receive from movie stars, Marylanders WILL NOT allow marriage to be redefined.”