Dinner with Josh

Dinner with Josh (Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE / July 26, 2012)

Baltimore's own Josh Charles, star of "The Good Wife," is offering an incentive for people to donate to Maryland's campaign to legalize same-sex marriage.

Folks who donate to the cause might win dinner with the celeb.

In a promotion that just launched this week and runs through Aug. 31, anyone who donates at least five dollars to Marylanders for Marriage Equality has a shot at the dinner with Charles -- an evening that he describes in an email as "exclusive" and "intimate." (Technically, no donation is required to enter.)

"Right now, I'm on set shooting the next season of the Good Wife -- but in a few weeks, I'll be back in my hometown of Baltimore," reads the invitation that was blasted to the issue's supporters. "When I get back, I'm hosting a dinner party in support of marriage equality and I want you to come."

Maryland's General Assembly passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage this year but because of a successful challenge by opponents, the issue will go to voters this November in a ballot referendum.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality got to know Charles earlier this year when he shot an online promotion to run during the legislative session, says campaign press secretary Kevin Nix. The campaign approached him again and asked if he'd be willing to do more.

"I've been a supporter of marriage equality for a long time and know that this year we have a real opportunity to defend equality at the ballot box this November," Charles wrote in the invitation.

The campaign hopes having Charles on board will bring in not just money but attention to the cause.

"It sort of amplifies the conversation and gets folks to take notice," Nix said. "He's very popular. That's the sort of power of celebrity. Folks listen."

Nix wasn't able to immediately tell how many entries have come in so far. But people can apply through Aug. 31.

Eight winners will be chosen at random -- each will be able to bring a guest. The campaign isn't yet saying when the dinner will be or where Charles will take his guests.

They do say the value of the meal will be approximately $75 a person. So, probably no Charleston. But, fair to bet that it won't be Chick-fil-A either.

UPDATE: Campaign officials say the campaign end date, originally stated to be July 31, has been extended to Aug. 31.

jill.rosen@baltsun.com

@BaltInsider on Twitter