The National Organization for Marriage has revealed the list of donors who contributed to its effort to defeat Maine’s gay marriage law in 2009.
Jonathan Wayne, executive director of the Maine Ethics Commission, said in a written statement Monday morning the list had been filed on the commission’s website and the organization has indicated it will not fight the matter through the courts any further.
NOM has repeatedly gone to court over the issue, arguing that the Constitution allows protects people giving money anonymously, but the group lost successive rulings on the issue in 2009 and 2011, and had its appeal thrown out in 2012.
Fecteau also marvels at how quickly attitudes towards LGBT rights have shifted in the mere six years from the 2009 campaign, when NOM enjoyed the advantage. The August. 4 decision essentially denied that request and suggested that the National Organization for Marriage’s argument was not strong in the overall case.
NOM ultimately paid more than $50,000 in fines to the state for failing to comply with state campaign funding laws. The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization, donated $140,000.
According to the Portland Press Herald, the list includes one person from Maine: Richard Kurtz of Cape Elizabeth.
The people’s veto was successful, but Maine voters legalized same-sex marriage again, this time at the ballot box, three years ago.
In May 2014, the Maine Ethics Commission ruled that NOM had violated campaign finance law and ordered the conservative group to pay a $50,250 penalty and release its donors. “Accordingly, it did not publicly report its donors or any expenditures it made to influence the referendum (other than by contributions to Stand for Marriage Maine), and did not fulfill other key obligations of ballot question committees, such as disclosing officers and decision-makers and certifying that its financial reports were complete”. “As long as the financial disclosure seems to be complete and compliant, the commission does not conduct an investigation”. It goes against everything our political system should stand for.