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Is Anti-Gay Effort in Maine Broadly Religious? The Money Says No.

When representatives of various churches and other religious organizations in Maine gathered in early October to declare their support for same-sex marriage and their opposition to Ballot Question 1, the head of the anti-gay YES on 1 forces mocked them. Marc Mutty, Chair of Stand for Marriage Maine, issued a press release characterizing the breadth of the NO on 1 religious community as tiny: “as the No on 1 campaign trumpets a few faith leaders supporting their side today, I can’t help but be stunned… when a few churches on their side get involved, they trumpet it as an exceptional event, worthy of great notice across the state.”

The implication by Marc Mutty is that his anti-gay “Stand for Marriage Maine,” in contrast, has broad support from a variety of churches and other religious organizations across the state of Maine. Is that true? I decided to look into the campaign contributions received by “Stand for Marriage Maine” to find out.

The following is a chart showing the distribution of money contributed to “Stand for Marriage Maine” by Maine Catholic religious organizations and by all other Maine religious organizations:

Maine Religious Contributions, Catholic and Non-Catholic, to Stand for Marriage Maine, through September 30, 2009

Does that look to you like a broad, rich spectrum of support by Maine religious communities, all standing behind the anti-gay Stand for Marriage? It doesn’t look like that to me. Maine’s non-Catholic religious contributions to Stand for Marriage Maine are paltry, hardly enough to fund a run for some seat on a town’s library council. The only significant contributions by Maine religious organizations to Stand for Marriage Maine are by organizations of the Roman Catholic Church in Maine — and they dominate, shoveling in 86 times as much money to Stand for Marriage Maine as all other religious organizations in Maine combined.

Stand for Marriage Maine is not an effort supported deeply and broadly by Maine religious organizations. It is a narrow parochial effort; its religious funding from within Maine reflects endowment by the deep pockets of the Catholic Church.

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