supporters outspent opponents by a 3-to-1 margin during this
year's campaign over a Maine gay rights law.
Maine Won't Discriminate, the group that
successfully derailed an attempt to repeal the state's
gay rights law, spent a total of $1.1 million for its
campaign, according to filings with the Maine Commission on
Governmental Ethics and Election Practices.
That was nearly three times what the Maine
Grassroots Coalition and the Coalition for Marriage, a
political arm of the Christian Civic League of Maine,
spent on their campaigns to repeal the law. Combined, they
spent just short of $412,000, according to spending
documents filed with the state.
Mainers in November voted 55%-45%
against repealing the law, which makes
discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal in
employment, housing, credit, public accommodations,
Paul Madore of the Maine Grassroots Coalition
said that supporters of the repeal effort were simply
outspent, especially in getting out the vote. "All of
these things add up to votes, and in the end we had to
realize they had more marbles than us," said Madore.
Gay rights supporters far outspent opponents in
the final days of the campaign, according to finance
reports. Maine Won't Discriminate raised about
$200,000 and spent more than $300,000 between October 28 and
December 13. That final push included an extensive
television advertising buy and phone-banking operation
designed to mobilize voters, according to Patricia
Peard, the group's treasurer.
Madore said his group is now preparing for a
fight over same-sex marriage. "It will come as sure as
night follows day," Madore said, predicting a push for
same-sex unions in the near future. Gay rights
advocates have dismissed any imminent plans to pursue such