Gay rights group Equality Maryland on Wednesday released a video featuring Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo pledging his support for a gay marriage bill.

An issue that “I'm quite proud about is love and marriage,” Ayanbadejo says in the one-minute-sixteen-second video.

“Gay and lesbian couples want to marry for similar reasons as we all do: love and commitment. It's time to allow them the opportunity to build a family through marriage. It's a matter of fairness. This is why I'm asking Marylanders to join me in supporting marriage equality for same-sex couples.”

The Maryland House on Wednesday gave its preliminary OK to the legislation. A final vote could come as early as Thursday.

“Having the freedom to marry means committed couples and their children will have the same crucial protections under the laws as other couples. Churches can always have their beliefs, but government is supposed to treat everybody the same, and that's equal. America is supposed to be the land of the free but in order for this to be true for all of us, then we must have the ability to marry whom we love regardless of their gender.”

“Think about it, and join me in the land of the brave for standing on the side of love,” Ayanbadejo adds. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)