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Maine gay rights
supporters outspend opponents 3–1

Maine gay rights
supporters outspend opponents 3–1

Gay rights 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, and education. 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 legislation. (AP)

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