The Sun Journal reports,
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland contributed $100,000, the Knights of Columbus of Washington, D.C., chipped in $50,000 and Focus on the Family, a Christian group based in Colorado Springs, Colo., donated $31,000 to the political action committee seeking to repeal the gay marriage law.
Nearly half of the group's fundraising, $160,000, came from the National Organization for Marriage, a New Jersey-based group.
However, quite interestingly, the paper also reports that
The campaign finance report also shows four Maine citizens contributed a total of $400 to the cause.
Four people from the state in question donated $400 of the $340,000 the haters have raised. Four people! By contrast,
Maine Freedom to Marry, the group campaigning to maintain the law, raised a total of about $138,000 from more than 350 donors during the same period, according to a release.
Donations from Mainers totaled about $80,000, with the remaining $58,000 coming from out of state.
So, Mainers themselves support marriage equality by a ratio of 350:4.
We saw this in California, when a flood of donations from out of state drove the Prop8 campaign to record expenditures. The Roman Catholic bishops provided political cover for the Mormons, and the conservative Catholic group the Knights of Columbus poured money into the state. Coupled with failures on the "No" side to mobilize and do outreach, this proved lethal. The final insult was the triumphalism of the SF and LA Archbishops in telling the gay community to shut up. So, the same thing in Maine so far....let's hope we can block that triumphalism thing and instead see a chastened statement of defeat.
An interesting question is where the Roman Catholic church gets all that money. Seems that RC in Maine has been in financial straits, closing down parishes. As the Sun Journal reported in a different article,
In the face of recent firings at the Trinity Catholic School and the plans for closing two Catholic parishes in Lewiston, both due to declining revenue, the revelation that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland had spent $100,000 on efforts to repeal the recently passed same-sex marriage law took some Catholics by surprise.
"I saw that $100,000 figure in the paper and it was very demoralizing," said David Webbert, an Augusta lawyer, who for years attended Auburn's St. Philip's Church with his family and now occasionally attends in Winthrop.
Remarkably, in an economic climate of joblessness and need, the Roman Catholic church in Maine can't keep churches open and can't help the poor, but it can sure attack the civil (not religious, but CIVIL) marriages of Mainers at great cost.
After PropH8 passed here in California, the pro-H8 forces whined a lot that THEY were the victims. They apparently keep lists of all the mean things that were said about them. In Maine, they've moved the victimhood forward and are painting themselves as a poor harassed minority who are forced to hide their HQ from marauding bands of queers. The Press Herald reports
But by complaining loudly and often that they've been called names and heard things go bump in the night since they launched their campaign, might Stand for Marriage Maine's organizers also be portraying themselves as an oppressed "minority" (Mutty's word, not mine) in the hope that they will be perceived as the victims this time around?....
Maybe not, but Stand for Marriage Maine's secretive ways contrast sharply with the see-through strategy of the Maine Freedom to Marry coalition....
Our side is not hiding their address, or their HQ. How long, do you think, before someone throws a brick through THEIR window?
Let's be clear on who the oppressed victims are here. No one is denying the churches any rights (including the right to refuse to marry anyone--a right the Roman Catholics exercise regularly with respect to people who are divorced).
And let's be absolutely clear that this is not about Marriage per se. As we've seen in Washington state, it's about denying gay citizens any secular rights at all. And that, dear friends, is nothing more than hate.
Support Equality Maine. They need some love!
Cross posted at Gay Married Californian
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