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Difference between revisions of "Maine Same-Sex Marriage People's Veto, Question 1 (2009)"

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===State commission continues investigation===
 
===State commission continues investigation===
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Despite a 2010 attempt by the [[National Organization for Marriage]] to halt the investigation, on [[BC2010#June|June 24]], the Maine Ethics Commission said it would continue it's investigation.<ref>[http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/146890.html ''Bangor Daily News'',"Commission: Marriage group probe to go on," June 24, 2010]</ref><ref>[http://www.mpbn.net/Home/tabid/36/ctl/ViewItem/mid/3478/ItemId/12709/Default.aspx ''Maine Public Broadcasting Network'',"Maine Ethics Commission Rejects NOM's Request to Drop Investigation," June 24, 2010]</ref>
  
 
==Domestic partnership rights==
 
==Domestic partnership rights==

Revision as of 13:24, 1 July 2010

The Maine Same-Sex Marriage People's Veto, Question 1 appeared on the November 3, 2009 ballot in the state of Maine as a "People's Veto" where it was approved.

Question 1 was an effort by opponents of same-sex marriage in Maine to use Maine's People's Veto process to overturn "An Act to Promote Marriage Equality and Affirm Religious Freedom". This act (Public Law Chapter 82, of the 124th Maine Legislature) authorized same-sex marriage in Maine. It was passed by the Maine State Legislature and signed by Governor Baldacci on May 6, 2009.[1]

The same-sex law was scheduled to take effect September 12, 2009 but since the Maine Secretary of State determined that sufficient signatures were collected to place the measure on the ballot, the law remained pending until results from the election were tallied.[2]

In July 2009, veto supporters submitted approximately 100,000 signatures, approximately double the requirement.[3] On September 3, 2009, the Maine Secretary of State's office announced that petitioners collected sufficient valid signatures to place the measure on the state ballot.That same day, on September 3, Gov. John Baldacci signed a formal proclamation to place the measure on the November 3, 2009.[4]

Election results

Question 1 was approved as of November 4, 2009 at 2:05 a.m. EST.[5]

Question 1
Result Votes Percentage
Approveda Yes 266,324 52.75%
No 238,595 47.25%
Total votes 504,919 100.00%
Voter turnout 54%


Ballot summary

The language that appeared on the statewide ballot was:

Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?"[6]

A "yes" vote on the people's veto was a vote to reject the same-sex law. A "no" vote was a vote to keep the law.

Supporters

Voting on
Marriage and Family
Wedding rings.jpg
Ballot Measures
By state
By year
Not on ballot
The official campaign organization that supported the Same-Sex Marriage People's Veto was Stand for Marriage Maine. They launched their official website on August 27, 2009.[7]
Stand for Marriage Maine.jpg

According to Stand for Marriage Maine, individual groups that supported placing the measure on the ballot included:[8]

  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland
  • Maine Jeremiah Project
  • National Organization for Marriage
  • Maine Marriage Initiative
  • Daughters of Isabella
  • Knights of Columbus
  • Concerned Women of America, Maine Chapter
  • Maine Coalition of Concerned Families
  • Eagle Forum
  • Family Watch International
  • Marriage4 Maine

Arguments

According to Stand for Marriage Maine, if Question 1 was not approved and the same-sex law, approved by the governor in early 2009, was allowed to go into effect there might be several legal conflicts. Other arguments by the group included:[9]

  • refusal by a religious school/organization to offer housing or hire someone in a same sex relationship as an employee to married same sex couple may lead to lawsuits
  • professionals, such as doctors, psychologists or counselors, that object to same-sex marriage could face legal problems
  • religious-based social service organizations may be subject to lose government funding if they refuse same-sex couples any services or benefits

Additionally, Stand for Marriage Maine argued that the same-sex marriage law eliminated the state's "commitment to promoting monogamous marriages between a man and a woman" - a building block of society. Question 1, said the organization, was a chance for voters to have a say on the issue. "Question 1 is about preserving marriage; it’s not an attack on the gay lifestyle." [10]

If approved, Question 1 would, according to Stand for Marriage:[10]

  • preserve the definition of marriage - union between a man and a woman
  • maintain the rights and benefits that same-sex couples have under the state's domestic partners law
  • children in schools would not be taught that "same-sex marriage" is the same as traditional marriage - union between a man and a woman
  • ensure that voters decide on the meaning of marriage and not politicians

Opponents

Protect Maine Equality.jpg

The official campaign organization that opposed the Same-Sex Marriage People's Veto was called Protect Maine Equality. They launched their official website in early August 2009.[7] Other opponents include Gov. John Baldacci and Sen. Christopher Rector.[11]

According to Protect Maine Equality, individual groups that opposed placing the measure on the ballot include:[12]

  • Americans for Democratic Action
  • AFL/CIO
  • American Academy of Pediatrics- Maine Chapter
  • American Association of University Women (AAUW)
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence
  • Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere
  • Community Counseling Center
  • Downeast Pride Alliance

...view all opponents here.

Arguments

Despite Question 1 supporters that argued that if the veto is not approved those who oppose same-sex marriage may face lawsuits, Protect Maine Equality argued that "marriage equality law respects and protects the rights of people of faith. It explicitly ensures that no one empowered to perform marriages will be required to marry any couple, including same sex couples, contrary to their conscience or their religious beliefs."

Additionally, Protect Maine Equality argued that marriage equality reflects traditional Maine values of fairness and equality. "Without marriage equality loving, committed same-sex couples are not recognized as a legal pair. They cannot file taxes jointly, do not have access to health insurance as a family and are not allowed to inherit property at the time of death without the hardship of crushing taxes. Their children are not entitled to all of the rights and protections conferred automatically on a family headed by a married couple."[13]

Phone campaign

Opponents of Question 1, according to reports, made hundreds of phone calls on September 27, 2009 in order to urge voters to oppose the measure. Additionally Protect Maine Equality started a nationwide "on-line walk" to raise additional funds for the campaign.[14]

Campaign contributions

Support

According to the final 2009 financial reports, the Stand for Marriage Maine campaign raised a total of $3.073 million. Total expenditures were $2,880,895.29 and an additional $183,971.89 in operating expenses.[15]

Financial summary:

  • In support of the ballot measure, the Stand for Marriage Maine campaign raised a total of $1.14 million according to quarterly state reports on October 1, 2009. Approximately $794,180 was raised during the third quarter.[16][17]
  • However, as of October 23, 2009, Stand for Marriage reported a total of $2.6 million.[18]
  • In September, Maine Catholics donated a total of approximately $86,000 in support of Question 1. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland reported a total of $41,000 in donations.[19]

Committee groups that contributed to the "Yes on 1" campaign included:[20]

  • StandForMarriageMaine.com (PAC)
  • Maine Marriage Initiative (PAC)
  • Maine Marriage PAC (PAC)
  • Focus on the Family Maine Marriage Committee (PAC)
  • Maine4Marriage (PAC)
  • Marriage Matters in Maine (PAC)
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland (BQC)
  • Family Research Council Action (BQC)

Contributions

Below is a chart that outlines major cash contributions to the Stand For Marriage Maine Campaign, as of October 2009:[16][18]

Contributor Amount
National Organization for Marriage $1.1 million
Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland $550,000
Focus on the Family of Colorado $50,000
Knights of Columbus $50,000
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Evansville $1,000
Archdiocese of Santa Fe $1,000
  • On October 20, 2009, The Gazette, in Colorado, reported that Focus on the Family Colorado donated a grand total of $98,500 to Stand for Marriage. Additionally, they reported that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, provided approximately $390,000 in total donations.[21]

Opposition

According to the final 2009 financial reports, the Protect Maine Equality campaign raised a total of $4.565 million. Total expenditures were $4,382,937.57 and an additional $210,832.43 in operating expenses.[22]

Financial summary:

  • An October 23, 2009 report revealed a grand total of $4 million.[18]
  • According to late September 2009 reports, NO on 1 raised approximately $642,459 via its website.[23]
  • According to the report submitted to the state ethics commission, $2.56 million was raised during the period of July 1 - September 30 and half of the funds were reported to have been donated within the state of Maine.[17]

Committee groups that contributed to the "No on 1" campaign included:[20]

  • No on 1 Protect Maine Equality (PAC)
  • Mid-Coast for Marriage Equality (PAC)
  • Equality Maine (PAC)
  • TFC Maine PAC (PAC)
  • Equality Maine (BQC)
  • Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (BQC)
  • Maine People’s Resource Center (BQC)

Contributions

Below is a chart that outlines major cash and in-kind contributions to the Protect Maine Equality Campaign, as of October 2009:[22]

Contributor Amount
Human Rights Campaign $155,000
Equality Maine $90,000
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders $87,000
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force $75,000
American Civil Liberties Union $10,000

Total campaign allocations

According to a report, "Maine Question 1: Where Did the Money Go?" by James R. Oaksun, the chair of Liberty For Maine and president of Virtual Galt Corporation, below is a summary of the campaign allocations for both the support and opposition of Question 1.[24]

Allocations Support Opposition
TV/Radio ads $1,637,000 (64%) $2,551,000 (55%)
Mailing/Signs $307,000 (12%) $810,000 (18%)
Employees/Consultants $270,000 (11%) $343,000 (7%)
Internet use $113,000 (4%) $343,000 (7%)
Polling data $176,000 (7%) $160,000 (3%)
Telephone use $1,000 (0%) $267,000 (6%)
Other $64,000 (2%) $130,000 (3%)

Media editorial positions

Main article: Endorsements of Maine ballot measures, 2009

Editorial boards opposed

  • The Bangor Daily News opposed Question 1. On October 17, the newspaper announced their opposition to the same-sex marriage veto. In the editorial they said, "It is hard to see how allowing more people to marry will weaken marriage. Instead, it seems the strong desire of gay and lesbian couples to be married, rather than declared domestic partners, shows the value and importance of marriage. Voting no on Question 1 will reiterate Maine's commitment to equality and acceptance of families of all types while respecting religious traditions and beliefs."[25]
  • The Bowdoin Orient opposed Question 1. On October 16, the college weekly said "no" to Question 1. In an editorial they said,"As members of a generation that recites the ideals of equality and tolerance like an unofficial mantra, we cannot stand for legislation that denies citizens their right to marry. More than that, we cannot stand for a law that considers some citizens less worthy of certain things than others. The right to marry is not a privilege to be doled out to those deemed worthy—it is a decision between two individuals, regardless of sex."[26]
  • The Portland Press Herald opposed Question 1. In an editorial they said,"While this change in the law could seem abrupt to some Maine voters, it reflects the way people are really living now in cities and towns all over our state. That's why we urge people to vote "no," to allow this reasonable law to go into effect. Leaders of the people's veto campaign argue that extending the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage to families headed by same-sex couples would have broad effects throughout society. We have listened to their arguments, but we just don't buy them."[27]
  • The Boston Globe said "vote no on Question 1." In an editorial the board said,"The law signed by Governor John E. Baldacci in May recognizes that legalizing gay marriage is a matter of fairness. A civil union, the governor said, is not equal to a marriage. Just as the state of Maine would not deny the equal rights and protections of the law to its other citizens, it should not deny them to gay people who wish to build stable families. A vote of “no’’ on Question 1 is a vote for equal protection of the laws, a guarantee in Maine’s constitution and in the country’s that all citizens should defend and embrace."[28]
  • The Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel opposed Question 1. They said,"Families led by same-sex partners are here now. They are part of our communities and they need and deserve the legal protections -- as well as the dignity -- that comes with civil marriage status. Maine voters should recognize that even if their personal beliefs about marriage haven't changed, reality has. They should accept reality and vote "no" on Question 1."[29]
  • The Seacoast Media Group opposed Question 1. They said, "This editorial board has had no change of heart on the issue of gay marriage. We supported both Maine and New Hampshire efforts to establish their laws, and we now oppose the effort to repeal the law in Maine in the strongest possible terms. Make no mistake: The eyes of the country will be focused on the state next Tuesday. If Mainers vote to keep the law on the books and reject repeal, it will be the first victory at the ballot box for gay marriage."[30]
  • The Journal Tribune opposed Question 1. They said,"Just the same, those who take a more liberal view of marriage don’t see any reason to deny two people who love each other the ultimate expression of that love. We at the Journal Tribune fall into that latter category and publicly state our support of the same-sex marriage legislation. We do not believe that any harm can come from allowing gay couples the same definition that heterosexuals have for a life-long commitment to another human being."[31]
  • The Brunswick Times Record opposed Question 1. They said,"We hope the turnout is huge, and that a decisive majority of Mainers will vote “No” on this important social issue — which really boils down to acknowledging with loving-kindness in our hearts the freedom of everyone to marry the person they love, if not in church, then at least in a civil ceremony attended by family and friends."[32]

Television ads

See also: Maine Question 1 (2009), supporters, TV ads

Yes on One ad, 9-15-09

Supporters: On September 15, 2009 Stand for Marriage released their first television ad in support of Question 1. The ad emphasized the argument that if Question 1 is not approved and the same-sex marriage law was allowed to go into effect a range of lawsuits would begin to pop-up throughout the state against religious groups, schools and small businesses.

Stand for Marriage released a second television ad on September 22, 2009. The ad "Everything To Do With Schools" featured a couple urging voters to vote "Yes" in order to prevent same-sex marriage from being taught in Maine schools.[33]

See also: Maine Question 1 (2009), opponents, TV ads

Opponents: The week of September 1, 2009, Protect Maine Equality released two television ads against Question 1. One ad featured a military man talking about equality for his daughter, while the second add featured a family with two moms. According to reports, opponents of Question 1 analyzed ads during California Proposition 8 (2008) campaign. The outcome of Question 1 is said to be an indicator of how California Repeal of Proposition 8 (2010) would fare with voters.[34]

Controversy

Shortly after Stand for Marriage's television ad was first released, questions arose regarding the truthfulness of the ad. Specifically, questions arose regarding two claims: the legal ramifications and the changes on education if the law was allowed to stand.[35][36]

  • In regards to lawsuits, the ad stated: "Legal experts predict a flood of lawsuits against individuals, small businesses and religious groups." Veto opponents argued that the claim was "overstated" and was not the case in other states. However, Stand for Marriage said,"There is no reason to believe that it won't happen, there is every probability that it will happen."[35]
  • In regards to education, the ad stated: "Homosexual marriage taught in public schools whether parents like it. Vote yes on question one." Opponents called the statement "inflammatory" and "misleading." The Department of Education reported that curriculum language about marriage does not and would not exist. Education plans about family life are created by individual schools districts. According to Stand for Marriage the statements were not meant to be taken literally.[35]

Protect Maine Equality ad, 09-02-09

State investigation

On October 7, the state's education commissioner Susan Gendron asked Attorney General Janet Mills to provide an analysis of same-sex marriage law effects on schools. "The commissioner felt it would be helpful to put this issue to rest," said education department spokesman David Connerty-Marin.[37][38]

Response to investigation
See also: Interview with Scott Fish (10/8/09)

"Our campaign looks at it as a political stunt and I’ll tell you why. In the first place, Janet Mills, in her capacity as attorney general testified in favor of same-sex marriage in, I think it was April 22nd of this year at the Augusta Civic Center when they had the one public hearing on LD 1020. So I think when you are an attorney general and you come out, as she did, you can see it YouTube and you can watch her testify, how you then supposedly come out with an unbiased opinion is a bit of a stretch. Susan Gendron, similarly, is in an interesting spot, because her boss, the governor not only signed LD 1020 into a law but he has appeared on t.v., Channel 7 in Bangor is one place I know, and also in print supporting the No on 1 position. And he has, in fact, taken part in fundraising activities for the No on 1 position. Susan Gendron, the education commissioner, serves at the pleasure of Governor Baldacci. So for those three to allegedly put together an unbiased legal opinion, again smacks as a political stunt and we’re hoping that Attorney General Mills will do the right thing and not allow her office to be misused in that manner," said Scott Fish, spokesperson for Stand for Marriage Maine.

Attorney General response

In response to a request by the state's education commissioner Susan Gendron, the attorney general said, "I have scoured Maine laws relating to the education of its children for any references to marriage in the public school curricula. I have found none." According to Mills written opinion she said that the state's standards does not include the teaching of marriage, however, individual school boards "determine the exact content of each district's curricula."[39] [40]

Yes on 1 response: Marc Mutty of the Yes on 1 campaign argued that Mills' statement is "a shameless political ploy by supporters of homosexual marriage." Mutty added, "Yes on Question 1 has shown -- and our opponents have been forced to acknowledge -- that existing curricula ALREADY create an opportunity for teaching about same-sex relationships under the guise of 'safe schools' instruction. We know, for example, that the Portland schools already show films on gay relationships. What is to stop them from showing films about homosexual marriage if it becomes legal?"[41]

No on 1 response: Mark Sullivan of the No on 1 campaign said,"We hope the Question 1 campaign will stop attempting to hijack the fundamental issue at stake."[39]

Washington, D.C. National Equality march

On October 10 and October 11, 2009 thousands of people marched in Washington, D. C. in favor of equal rights for LGBT people in the United States. A week prior to the march a bill was introduced to the District of Columbia Council that proposed same-sex marriage in the district.[42] President Barack Obama's spoke at the Human Rights Campaign's annual dinner and addressed the issue of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, however, Obama did not directly address Maine's Question 1 or Washington's Referendum 71 directly. Two ballot measures that currently address the topic at hand - equal rights for LGBT people.[43][44]

President Obama opposes anti-gay referenda

Nearly a week after the Washington, D.C. march, President Obama announced his opposition to "anti-gay referenda in Maine and Washington state." At the October 10-11 event, Obama did not directly address either state's upcoming ballot measures regarding domestic partnerships and same-sex marriage. However, a week later, after questions arose regarding the President's stance on the issue, White House officials released a statement that said,"The President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples, and as he said at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, he believes ‘strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away.’" Additionally, officials said, "He supports ‘ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country.’"[45]

Path to the ballot

The Maine Secretary of State determined that sufficient signatures were collected, therefore the law did not go into effect pending the results of the November election.[46] In August 2009 the secretary of state's office announced that they began the verification process.[3] And on September 3, 2009 the office announced that enough valid signatures were filed to qualify the measure for the November 3 ballot. That same day Gov. John Baldacci signed a formal proclamation to place the measure on the November 3, 2009. On September 3 the governor said, "I fully support this legislation and believe it guarantees that all Maine citizens are treated equally under our state’s civil marriage laws. But I also have a constitutional obligation to set the date for the election once the secretary of state has certified that enough signatures have been submitted."[4]

Required signatures

Veto supporters were required to collect 55,087 signatures; a number equivalent to 10 percent of the total votes for governor in the last gubernatorial election.

Filed signatures

Supporters of the veto measure filed about 100,000 signatures with the Maine Secretary of State on July 31 in order to qualify the measure for the November 2, 2009 statewide ballot.[47]

National Petition Management

National Petition Management, a petition drive management company, was hired to collect signatures to qualify Question 1 for the ballot. They were paid $308,000 for the signatures they collected in this petition drive.[48][49]

Polling information

See also: Polls, 2009 ballot measures
  • An Oct. 31 - Nov. 1 poll by Public Policy Polling revealed that 51% of voters said they were in favor of Question 1, whereas 47% said they were opposed and 2% remain undecided. Approximately 1,133 voters were surveyed. The poll has a +/-2.9% margin of error.[50] [51]
  • A poll released October 27, 2009 by Pan Atlantic SMS Services revealed that 42% of voters are in favor of Question 1, whereas 53% are opposed and 6% are undecided. Approximately 400 voters were polled. The poll is reported to have a +/- 4.9% margin of error.[52] [53]
  • An October 16-19 poll by Public Policy Polling revealed that 48% of voters said they planned on voting to overturn the same-sex marriage law, while 48% of voters said they planned to vote to keep the 2009 law. A total of 1,130 voters were polled and the reported margin of error is +/- 2.9%.[54] [55]
  • A poll conducted from September 30 - October 7 by Pan Atlantic SMS Services revealed that 43% of voters are in favor of Question 1, whereas 52% are opposed and 5% are undecided.[56] [57]
  • A September 23-27 poll by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) revealed that 41% of voters said they were likely to vote "yes" to overturn the same-sex marriage law, 50% of voters said they would most likely vote "no." A total of 808 registered voters were polled.[58]
  • A September 14-16 poll by Research 2000/Daily Kos indicated that 48% of voters said they were likely to vote to overturn the same-sex marriage law, 46% would vote not to and 6% were undecided.[59] The poll interviewed 600 people between September 14-16 and is reported to have margin of error of +/- four percent.[60]
    • In light of the poll results, Equality Maine communications director Mark Sullivan said,"What I took away from that poll is that we really have to work hard. This is going to be a very close election but we have the opportunity to make history by becoming the first state to vote for marriage equality."[23]
  • An April 2008 poll by Pan Atlantic SMS Services revealed that 49.5% of voters were against the same-sex marriage legislation approved by the legislature in 2009, 47.3% were in favor and 3.3% were undecided.[59]
Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided
April 2008 Pan Atlantic SMS Services 49.5% 47.3% 3.3%
Sept. 14 - 16 Research 2000/Daily Kos 48% 46% 6%
Sept. 23 - 27 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) 41% 50% 9%
Sept. 30 - Oct. 7 Pan Atlantic SMS Services 43% 52% 5%
Oct. 16 - 19 Public Policy Polling 48% 48% 4%
Oct. 20 - 22 Pan Atlantic SMS Services 42% 53% 6%
Oct. 31 - Nov. 1 Public Policy Polling 51% 47% 2%

Fundraising investigation

See also: Question 1 support donations and opposition donations

On October 1, 2009 the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices voted 3 to 2 to investigate groups supporting the veto campaign after a complaint was filed on August 25, 2009.[61] On September 30, commission staff said an investigation was not warranted.[62]

Fundraising complaint

The complaint was filed by Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate, on August 25, 2009. In the 9-page complaint Karger said groups like the National Organization for Marriage and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, solicited contributions from individuals and in turn gave the money to Stand for Marriage - hiding the identity of the individual donors.[63] Maine election law states that every donation, regardless of how small, must be listed.

Investigation responses

  • NOM response: Barry Bostrom, National Organization for Marriage attorney, said Karger's complaint is "nothing more than an attempt to harass and intimidate those of us who believe in the core truth that marriage is between one man and one woman." According to Bostrom, the organization complies with state campaign financing laws. It's policy is to collect funds and then submit the donations to a particular campaign so as to protect donors from harassment.[64]
  • Stand for Marriage Maine response: Chairman of Stand for Marriage Maine Marc Mutty said,"It is yet another example of the harassment that follows supporters of traditional marriage. It is an abuse of power for the Commission to have allowed itself to be used as an instrument of politics in this fashion."[65]
  • Protect Maine Equality response: "We are not involved in any way shape or form. We have nothing to do with the complaint and don’t have any opinion about it one way or the other," said Mark Sullivan, spokesperson for Protect Maine Equality.[65]

Constitutional challenge

See also: Campaign finance requirements for Maine ballot measures

On October 21, 2009 NOM and American Principles in Action filed a constitutional challenge, NOM v. Mckee et al., to Maine's campaign finance law that requires that any person or organization who contributes or spends more than $5,000 on a ballot measure be registered as a "ballot measure committee." According to the James Madison Center for Free Speech, a Maine law that required individuals or organizations to register as political action committees (PACs) was declared unconstitutional approximately 10 years ago. That case was Volle v. Webster.[66]

Both groups also sought a restraining order that would allow for the groups to run television ads and donate funds to the Question 1 campaign without registering as a committee.[67]

Donor privacy lawsuit

The National Organization for Marriage filed a federal lawsuit against the state after the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices launched a fundraising investigation. The ethics commission is investigating whether the organization should have filed as a ballot question committee. However, the commission has requested donor names to verify donations.[68]

The state, according to reports, believes most of the donations were completed verbally and they require donor names to verify the transactions. The state contends that names will be kept confidential, however, NOM attorney Josiah Neeley said the organization would be willing to list donations without names or addresses. Neeley said, even without the disclosure of names donors may worry about being part of an investigation or deposition in the future.[68]

In May 2010 Justice Donald Marden in Kennebec County Superior Court said he is concerned about the privacy of those who participate in the political system. "The court is really queasy in light of recent history of what it does to a person's 1st Amendment right when they contribute to a campaign. What are we doing with privacy these days?" [68][69]

Court ruling

In a preliminary ruling on May 23, 2010 U.S. Magistrate Judge John Rich III said the National Organization for Marriage should release documents relating to donors and fundraising. Documents, he said, should date back to January 1, 2009 and should be submitted to the Attorney General's office. However, donors names may not be made public and can only be shared with state officials. The order, however, is pending approval by a federal district judge.[70][71]

A challenge was filed on May 25 by National Organization for Marriage lawyers in the U.S. District Court. According to reports the state must file a response by June 11, 2010. The organization argues that "disclosing personal donor information, even limited disclosure to opposing counsel, would have a substantial negative effect on the ability of NOM to raise funds."[70]

State commission continues investigation

Despite a 2010 attempt by the National Organization for Marriage to halt the investigation, on June 24, the Maine Ethics Commission said it would continue it's investigation.[72][73]

Domestic partnership rights

The State of Maine has a law on the books, since April 2004 and took effect July 30, 2004, that grants domestic partnership rights. If Question 1 was approved, the domestic partnership rights would still stand, however, Maine Same-Sex Marriage Law signed in May 2009 by the governor would no longer be valid.

According to the law:[74]

Under the law, registered domestic partners are accorded a legal status similar to that of a married person with respect to matters of probate, guardianships, conservatorships, inheritance, protection from abuse, and related matters. The legislation establishes a Domestic Partner Registry housed within the Office of Health Data and Program Management, Bureau of Health of the Department of Health and Human Services.

See also

Articles

Pencil.pngInterviews

External links

Additional reading

Editorials

Video clips

References

  1. Politico, "The question in Maine", May 19, 2009
  2. Associated Press,"Gay marriage foes reach signature goal in Maine," July 8, 2009
  3. 3.0 3.1 Edge,"Bay Area LGBTs pitch in to help Maine in marriage fight," August 17, 2009
  4. 4.0 4.1 Associated Press,"Voters in Maine Will Decide Fate of Same-Sex Marriage Law," September 2, 2009
  5. Bangor Daily News,"2009 Election Results," last retrieved November 4, 2009
  6. Maine Government News, "People's Veto Effort on Same-Sex Marriage Receives Ballot Question", May 19, 2009
  7. 7.0 7.1 Bangor Daily News,"Stand for Marriage launches Web site," August 28, 2009
  8. Stand for Marriage Maine,"Who We Are," retrieved September 1, 2009
  9. Stand for Marriage Maine,"The Threat to Marriage," retrieved September 17, 2009
  10. 10.0 10.1 Stand for Marriage Maine,"About the People’s Veto and Question 1," retrieved September 17, 2009
  11. The Advocate,"Maine Gov. Endorses Protecting Equality," October 27, 2009
  12. Protect Maine Equality,"Who We Are," retrieved September 17, 2009
  13. Protect Maine Equality,"Why Marriage," retrieved September 17, 2009
  14. Edge,"Activists to urge Maine voters to oppose marriage referendum," September 23, 2009
  15. Maine Campaign Finance,"PAC Summary: StandForMarriageMaine.com," retrieved December 18, 2009
  16. 16.0 16.1 State of Maine,"Cash Contributions to PAC," October 13, 2009
  17. 17.0 17.1 Portland Press Herald,"QUESTION 1 Gay-marriage backers raise $2.7 million," October 14, 2009
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Bangor Daily News,"Money fueling battle over gay marriage," October 24, 2009
  19. Kennebec Journal,"Catholics add $86,000 vs. gay vows," October 10, 2009
  20. 20.0 20.1 Maine Campaign Finance,"Committees Involved in the November 2009 Ballot Questions," retrieved September 27, 2009
  21. The Gazette,"Focus chips in $98k to help overturn Maine's gay marriage law," October 20, 2009
  22. 22.0 22.1 State of Maine,"Cash Contributions to PAC," October 13, 2009
  23. 23.0 23.1 Seacoast Media Group,"Marriage campaigns heated," September 27, 2009
  24. Nolan Chart,"Maine Question 1: Where Did the Money Go?," December 17, 2009
  25. Bangor Daily News,"No on Question 1," October 17, 2009
  26. The Bowdoin Orient,"Vote 'No' on 1," October 16, 2009
  27. Portland Press Herald,"Support Maine families: Vote 'no' on Question 1," October 18, 2009
  28. Boston Globe,"Uphold equal rights in Maine," October 25, 2009
  29. Morning Sentinel,"Vote 'no' on Question 1 Support all Maine families," October 25, 2009
  30. Seacoast Media Group,"Our take on state ballot questions," October 28, 2009
  31. Journal Tribune,"Question 1 denies Maine's same-sex couples equal civil rights," October 21, 2009
  32. The Times Record,"‘No’ on Question 1," October 30, 2009
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