The organization trying to overturn Maine's same-sex marriage law, Stand for Marriage PAC recently turned in 100,000 signatures to place the question on the November ballot. These gay marriage opponents hope to repeal LD 1020 -- the law passed by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor allowing same-sex marriage in Maine.
Of the $343,689.50 raised to pay the Brighton, Michigan based National Petition Management, Inc. to collect the signatures, only $400, or a mere .001 of that total came from individuals. The remaining $343,289.50 was given by various religious organizations and James Dobson's Focus on the Family. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) gave nearly half of that total, $160,000. The remainder came from Catholic organizations ($150,000) and James Dobson's Focus on the Family ($31,000).
It sure looks like they are trying to hide the donors in their latest effort to strip away marriage equality. There is no way these organizations like NOM and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland had all this money sitting in their treasuries (except for possibly Focus on the Family). They went out and raised it expressly for this campaign. It's very expensive to hire these signature gathering firms to collect 100,000 signatures in a short period of time."
National Organization for Marriage is a Mormon Front Group
There is an ongoing investigation into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC Case #08/735). The FPPC is looking into both the Church's lack of reporting its non-monetary contributions to Prop 8, and also whether NOM was, in fact, established as a front group by the Salt Lake City based Mormon Church. The Mormon Church has used this tactic in several states beginning in Hawaii in 1996.
I sent a letter yesterday to Jonathan Wayne, Executive Director of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Elections Practices (link to letter copy and release on our Blog) and warned of suspected money laundering by the major donors to Stand for Marriage PAC.
It begs the question; are they directing all contributions to their existing organizations, who in turn then give the money to Stand for Marriage PAC? We are very familiar with how this coalition operates, and we want to warn the political leadership and the residents of Maine to beware.
The coalition has also hired the highly regarded Schubert, Flint Campaign Management firm of Sacramento, California who ran their successful Yes on Proposition 8 campaign in California last year.
Who are the Victims Here?
These major backers of Stand for Marriage PAC will do their best to play the poor victim. They like to say that their contributors are being targeted simply because they give money to "preserve marriage." That's what they did in California after running a very nasty campaign and spending $40 million to take away marriage equality from millions of Californians.
Let's be clear. They are not the victims here. The Mormon Church and its coalition have qualified and passed Constitutional Amendments in 30 states to yank away civil rights from gay and lesbian Americans.
The Mormon Church began this fight in 1988. They have been destroying lives, intimidating people and demonizing an entire class to solidify their base and raise millions and millions of dollars.
After two decades of assaulting the LGBT Community, we are now fighting back with our talent, our numbers, our friends, our money and our purchasing power. They are not the victims in this equation, and even the best PR by all of their consultants cannot rewrite history.
Our hope is that as young people discover that they are LGB or T, they do not feel any less of a person because Maggie Gallagher (NOM $160,000 to the Maine campaign), Bishop Richard Malone (Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, ME $100,000 to the Maine campaign) Knights of Columbus (Catholic Church's Political Arm $50,000 to the Maine campaign) or James Dobson (Focus on the Family $31,000 to the Maine campaign) gave so much money to bully them and take away their rights.