By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com October 12 2012 9:01 AM ET
The Human Rights Campaign announced it has committed nearly another $1 million to the four states facing marriage-related ballot measures next month, bringing the organization’s contributions this to $4.4 million on the marriage initiatives and $7.3 million overall during this election season.
The Friday announcement follows $1 million in contributions this past August, which the organization said would be split evenly into amounts of $250,000 between the four states. This time, a spokesman for HRC said $950,000 would be split “fairly evenly,” with $225,000 for Maine and Washington, $300,000 for Maryland ($150,000 to Marylanders for Marriage Equality and $150,000 to the NAACP Maryland Marriage PAC), and $200,000 for Minnesota.
The investment arrives as the campaigns enter their intense final weeks, with marriage equality advocates and opponents flooding the airwaves with TV ads. Polling appears to favor marriage equality, but opponents have demonstrated a tendency to inject large sums of money into campaigns at the last minute. Advocates hope to win the battles in order to reverse a long losing streak for marriage equality at the polls.
“Our adversaries have bragged that marriage equality has never won at the ballot box,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a statement. “This November, we will take that talking point away once and for all. In 2012, fair-minded Americans – and particularly residents of Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington – will support their LGBT friends, family members, and coworkers.”
Marriage equality advocates have spent millions on the state ballot measures this year. In addition to HRC, Freedom To Marry has directed at least $3 million to the efforts, with a significant amount of its contributions coming from conservative donors such as Paul Singer, the billionaire hedge fund manager. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie donated $2.5 million to the marriage equality campaign in Washington, believed to be the largest individual gift ever to such a campaign.