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Judge upholds Maine campaign finance challenge brought by anti-gay NOM

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A federal judge has ruled that Maine’s campaign finance disclosure law is constitutional, rejecting a challenge by the National Organization for Marriage over its refusal to disclose the identities of donors who contributed to its anti-gay marriage campaign.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby granted a summary judgment upholding the constitutionality of Maine’s election disclosure laws.

Maine’s campaign finance law requires groups that raise, or spend, more than $5,000 to influence elections, to register with the state and disclose donors who make contributions of $100 or more.

The NOM spent $1.9 million dollars in a successful campaign to overturn Maine’s same-sex marriage law in 2009, but failed to report the names of its donors.

When an Ethics Commission had determined that the NOM was required to disclose the identities of those donors who contributed to its anti-gay marriage campaign, the group refused, and filed suit on grounds that Maine’s requirements were unconstitutional.

The NOM argued that Maine’s law wrongly treats ballot question committees the same as political action committees, and that requirement for such entities to disclose all contributors giving over $100 dollars is overly burdensome.

The 22-page decision rejected the NOM’s arguments, and concluded that Maine’s disclosure law is constitutional.

“I conclude finally that this Maine law is constitutional,” Hornby wrote.

The National Organization for Marriage has opposed laws allowing same-sex marriage in states across the country, including Maine and California.

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Filed under: Maine

8 more reader comments:

  1. Oh no D;
    This is bad right? The article was confusing…

    Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 10:32am
  2. This is good. Now we get to know contributed the money that NOM used in its campaign attempting to keep same-sex marriages from Maine.

    Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 10:37am
  3. Grrreat news!…

    Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 10:54am
  4. Okay, upon careful reading … like.

    Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 11:00am
  5. Nope Zach, this is great news. NOM was refusing to disclose its donors, saying the state didn’t have the right to force them to name names. The judge just upheld the constitutionality of the Maine law requiring disclosure. This is VERY good news.

    Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 11:03am
  6. Sort of begs the question: what are they afraid of? What are they trying to hide? If everything they’re doing is on the level, why not publish the names of everyone who is funding their hate spree in the New York Times? I’m sure their donors wouldn’t mind… after all, they gave their money to the cause. Right?

    Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 11:13am
  7. it just means this, they are a corrupt organization and they know it but do not wanna get caught. They need to learn that they are losing there power.

    Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 3:56pm
  8. If you are afraid of saying what you believe infront of the world, then shut your mouth until you can! Cowards is right!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 11:23pm