By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com February 28 2012 10:00 AM ET
The Supreme Court decided not to hear an appeal from the National Organization for Marriage challenging a Maine law that requires the group to name its donors, although a second appeal to allow the list to remain private is still pending.
The Portland Press Herald reports on the move from the high court, which let stand a ruling from the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld Maine election laws as constitutional. The law requires groups that raise or spend more than $5,000 to influence decisions to register and disclose their donors.
“The National Organization for Marriage filed its lawsuit in 2009, claiming that Maine laws violated its constitutional rights to free speech and due process,” the Press Herald reports. “Maine defended those laws, saying they are designed to inform voters about who is spending money to influence their votes.”
A separate appeal that would permit NOM to shield its donor list is still pending. The organization is seeking to avoid revealing the identities of donors who gave more than $100 to the campaign against same-sex marriage.
NOM gave nearly $2 million in 2009 to Stand for Marriage Maine, the PAC that helped repeal the state’s marriage equality law in a referendum. Last week the Maine Secretary of State confirmed that same-sex marriage advocates had collected enough valid signatures to bring the issue back to the ballot this fall. Polls show that a majority of voters support marriage equality.