Same-sex marriage supporters say they’ve raised $1 million

Mainers United for Marriage campaign manager Matt McTighe announces his organization will ask Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summer to change the wording on the gay marriage referendum at a press conference in Portland Wednesday June 20, 2012.
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Mainers United for Marriage campaign manager Matt McTighe announces his organization will ask Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summer to change the wording on the gay marriage referendum at a press conference in Portland Wednesday June 20, 2012. Buy Photo
By Matthew Stone, BDN Staff
Posted June 28, 2012, at 2:19 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The campaign fighting to legalize same-sex marriage in Maine said Thursday its fundraising has passed the $1 million mark and that 64 percent of the contributions have come from within Maine.

Mainers United for Marriage also said its campaign volunteers have spoken to 100,000 voters about the question that will appear on November’s ballot.

“The polling has only gone one way on this issue, and it continues to go up,” Matt McTighe, campaign manager for Mainers United for Marriage, said at a news conference at the State House. “It’s that level of support that we’re seeing every day when we’re out talking to our neighbors.”

The Mainers United for Marriage committee hasn’t yet had to report its most recent fundraising to state election officials, but the campaign has apparently raised more than $500,000 since the end of May, the last time the campaign had to report a fundraising total to the Maine Ethics Commission.

Protect Marriage Maine, the primary committee campaigning against the same-sex marriage measure, had raised about $11,000 in cash by the May 29 end of the most recent reporting period. But that fundraising happened before same-sex marriage opponents launched a fundraising drive in churches earlier this month on Father’s Day.

A spokesman for Protect Marriage Maine couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

The same-sex marriage campaign’s announcement Thursday came about a year after it launched a petition drive to place the same-sex marriage question on November’s ballot.

How exactly that question will appear on the ballot is still uncertain. Same-sex marriage supporters and opponents are in the midst of a debate about how the question should be worded.

Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers has proposed a question that reads simply, “Do you want to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

Same-sex marriage supporters have said the question falls short and neglects a key mention of a provision in the proposed law that wouldn’t force clergy to marry same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage opponents have been more favorable toward the proposed wording and have said they want the question to ask voters whether they would like to “redefine” marriage.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/06/28/politics/same-sex-marriage-supporters-say-theyve-raised-1-million/ printed on April 23, 2014