WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign on Monday announced a further $1 million cash infusion adding to earlier funding and significant on-the-ground work in the four states facing marriage-related ballot measures in November – Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.
The cash infusion brings HRC’s contributions to legislative and electoral marriage issues in the 2011-2012 cycle to $4.8 million.
“This is a tipping point year in the fight for marriage equality that requires significant investment,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We are committed to making sure this is the year that our opponents can no longer claim Americans will not support marriage equality at the ballot box.”
Nationally, support for marriage equality is at 54 percent according to a June 2012 CNN poll. Additionally public polls in Maine, Maryland and Washington show majorities of voters favoring marriage for committed gay and lesbian couples and polls in Minnesota also show voters there opposing the discriminatory constitutional amendment.
HRC has established a special ballot measure PAC to aid funding of all four states. Today’s $1 million contribution will be split evenly among Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.
“Bans on marriage for same-sex couples have sent the devastating message to young people that they cannot grow up to live their dreams and be full and equal citizens,” said Griffin. “This is the year we will change that.”
In Maine, voters will be asked for the first time in the country to affirmatively pass marriage for gays and lesbians at the ballot box. Voters in Maryland and Washington are being asked to affirm legislatively passed marriage equality laws. In Minnesota, voters will consider a constitutional amendment to ban gay and lesbian couples from marriage.
“All of these campaigns are winnable but they need resources to educate voters and fight back the lies from groups like the National Organization for Marriage,” said Griffin. “The country is moving in the direction of equality and a win in any of these states will show that marriage equality is quickly becoming a mainstream, American value.”