Overdue National Organization for Marriage disclosure shows deep unpopularity of anti-gay Movement
It was apparent in 2009 that almost all of the money used to oppose marriage equality in a Maine ballot initiative in Maine that year came from outside the state. 86.4% of the $1,193,323.83 raised by Stand for Marriage Maine in the 3rd Quarter of 2009 came from just four sources:
1. The Knights of Columbus
2. The National Organization for Marriage
3. Focus on the Family
4. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland
For the 5 years since its huge influx of cash, the National Organization for Marriage has fought repeatedly to prevent the names of its donors to this anti-gay movement from being revealed. Why? The answer became clear when finally, the state of Maine compelled NOM to release the complete itemized list of donors to its effort. As you can see here in the filing, they are:
- Benjamin Brown of Michigan: $200
- Richard Kurtz of Maine: $50,000
- John Templeton of Pennsylvania: $300,000
- Terrence Caster of San Diego: $300,000
- Sean Fieler of New York City: $1.25 million
- Knights of Columbus: $140,000
That’s it from the itemized list. Five individuals and one Catholic advocacy organization. That’s the entirety of the anti-gay “movement” that propped up the Maine movement against gay marriage. Only one individual who actually lived in Maine contributed to the effort; more than 90% of NOM dollars for the effort came from out of state.
This is why the National Organization for Marriage wanted to keep the list hidden. In a deeply embarrassing fashion, it reveals how unpopular the 2009 discriminatory push against same-sex marriage really was. NOM could find only six supporters willing to contribute significant dollars to the effort. In contrast, the group favoring same-sex marriage equality gathered far more contributions, from actual people actually living in Maine.
The story has a positive ending. When the National Organization for Marriage couldn’t convince its literal handful of donors to bankroll a continuing effort to stifle marriage equality in Maine, Mainers came out to the polls in 2012 and voted to legalize same-sex marriage. As of the date of the publication of this article, the state of Maine has not yet been hit by a hurricane or crumbled into the ocean as a result.