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This shot in the arm ought to get the fundraising ball rolling! This November, Mainers will be voting on a ballot question that will allow same-sex couples to marriage the same as straight couples do.

From this morning's Mainers United press release:

Mainers United for Marriage, the campaign to win the freedom to marry for all loving, committed couples in Maine, today announced a major donation and the launch of a fundraising matching challenge.

Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook and the publisher and editor-in-chief of The New Republic, and his fiance, Sean Eldridge, president of Hudson River Ventures and senior adviser to Freedom to Marry, have pledged $100,000 to Mainers United for Marriage as part of a four-week matching gift challenge.

"Voters in Maine have a historic opportunity to win marriage at the ballot in November," said Eldridge. "We are encouraged by strong statewide support for the initiative and the top-notch campaign team that's in place, and we hope that our support will motivate others to invest in the campaign.  With numerous marriage equality cases heading to the Supreme Court, there is nothing more important than growing momentum and winning the freedom to marry in more states."

The matching gift challenge will run for four weeks, with a weekly goal of raising at least $25,000, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Eldridge and Hughes. The gift is being made through Freedom to Marry's Win More States Fund.

"Supporters of marriage in Maine have a chance to double the impact of their contributions," said Matt McTighe, the campaign manager for Mainers United for Marriage. "We can win in November, but we need help to continue the conversations we'€™re having with voters. This matching gift challenge is critical to raising the early resources we need for our campaign. Sean and Chris are strong advocates for the freedom to marry, and our campaign greatly appreciates this early support."

On Tuesday, Mainers United will open field offices in Bangor, Lewiston and Portland, and launch the door-to-door campaign, and on Saturday the campaign will hold a statewide day of action for volunteers.

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