By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com September 12 2012 10:30 AM ET
LPAC, the bipartisan super PAC focused on lesbians and their families, announced a fund-raising drive to generate $25,000 in the next week for Mainers United for Marriage, the coalition working to reinstate the Maine marriage equality law. The group notified supporters Wednesday morning in an email featuring a video with Mary Bonauto, the attorney who may argue against the Defense of Marriage Act before the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming year.
Voters in Maine are being asked to reinstate the marriage equality law that was overturned at the ballot box in 2009. The campaign is one of four marriage-related initiatives that will be decided in states this November, and the only one that LPAC endorsed in its inaugural slate of campaigns last month.
In the video, Bonauto, an LPAC member and Maine resident, explains the importance of the effort. The campaign represents the first time marriage equality advocates have proactively brought an initiative on their own, and recent polls, which show public support at 55% to 58%, indicate the effort is winnable. By comparison, the repeal of the marriage equality law passed by 53% to 47% three years ago.
“The victory in Maine would extend far beyond our New England borders,” says Bonauto. “For the first time ever, our community will be on the offense in seeking marriage equality at the ballot rather than playing defense when our opponents try to strip it away. A victory in Maine would bring all of us one critical step closer to federal recognition of marriages and to marriages nationwide.”
Bonauto, who serves as the civil rights project director at Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading civil rights attorneys. She was the lead counsel in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the case that resulted in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision that upheld the right of same-sex couples to marry in 2003, and she is leading the Gill and Pedersen challenges to DOMA that have been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
LPAC, which launched this past summer, is believed to be the first super PAC dedicated to amplifying lesbian voices in politics. The group, which is run by an all-woman advisory board, hopes to raise $1 million this election cycle and invest strategically in candidates and campaigns that make the most impact for lesbians and their families. Last month LPAC generated $112,000 in a matching campaign for U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.