News (USA)

Maine gay marriage supporters outraise opponents

Maine No on 1With a week and a half to go before Election Day, the two campaigns in the battle over gay marriage continue to haul in large sums of money from donors both inside and outside of Maine.

No on 1-Protect Maine Equality has raised more than $4 million so far — including about $1.4 million since Oct. 1 — for its campaign to make Maine the first state in the nation where voters have endorsed same-sex marriages.

The group working to repeal Maine’s gay marriage law, Stand for Marriage Maine, raised $1.4 million, but $1.1 million came from a single source: the National Organization for Marriage. In fact, the Washington, D.C., organization has bankrolled more than 60 percent of the campaign to ban same-sex marriages in Maine.

Stand for Marriage Maine has raised a total of $2.6 million, according to reports filed Friday with the Maine Ethics Commission.

The No on 1 campaign, meanwhile, claims to have received contributions from more than 22,000 donors, compared to slightly more than 700 donors to the opposing camp.

NOM’s financial role in the Maine campaign will be discussed in federal court in Portland on Monday when a judge hears arguments in a complaint the group filed against the state.

Earlier this month, the Maine Ethics Commission voted 3-2 to investigate whether NOM was skirting campaign finance laws in order to avoid disclosing the identities of contributors.

A complaint against NOM alleges the organization, which played a key role in overturning California’s gay marriage law last November, funnels money to Stand for Marriage Maine while promising donors confidentiality.

If Question 1 is rejected on November 3, Maine’s gay marriage law would remain on the books.

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