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Financial problems plague gay marriage ban group in Arkansas

Financial problems plague gay marriage ban group in Arkansas

The group that is leading efforts for a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in Arkansas is "not doing very well financially at the moment," according to its president. Jerry Cox, president of the Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee, said Tuesday that the group sent about 2,500 e-mails to supporters asking for immediate donations of $100 or more to make up for a $4,000 accounting error. "Please pray that God will exceedingly and abundantly meet this critical need," the e-mail stated. The group needs to raise at least $5,106.24 by 5 p.m. on Thursday so that Cox can pay employees and federal payroll taxes that are due that day. Cox wouldn't say how much the group has in its accounts now or who made the error. "It's just one of those things where somebody failed to write down the right number," he said. "Most people have had the sad experiences of making an error in their checkbook. I hope they understand that's really basically what this error was about." The last report the group filed with the Arkansas Ethics Commission showed contributions of $51,606 and expenses of $57,503 for a deficit of $5,897. Cox said he didn't think the financial setback would affect the group's overall goal: to get the amendment on the November 2 ballot and pass it. On July 2 the group turned in 200,000 signatures to the secretary of state's office, which has 30 days to verify that the petitions contain at least 80,570 signatures of registered voters, the minimum for inclusion on the ballot. "Once we turned in the signatures, people somehow got the idea the campaign was over," Cox said. "That's something we're trying to overcome." Deborah New of Little Rock, spokeswoman for the Central Arkansas Human Rights Campaign, said groups against the amendment are planning a fund-raiser and town meetings for August to help gain momentum to oppose the measure. "I think there's been a great deal of opposition, they've just not been as vocal," New said. "But those days are in the past."

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