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Judge says no to
ads seeking support for Federal Marriage Amendment

Judge says no to
ads seeking support for Federal Marriage Amendment

A federal district court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday rejected a request by an antigay group in Maine to air advertisements against same-sex marriage, ruling that the ads would violate a new federal campaign reform law. The group had hoped to start airing advertisements this week to pressure the state's two Republican U.S. senators to vote for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The Christian Civic League of Maine was hoping to use the ads to mount a phone campaign to the offices of senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Both Republicans voted no when a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage came up in 2004. The political newspaper The Hill reports the measure is still about 15 votes short of the two-thirds majority it needs in the Senate.

But the problem for the Christian Civic League is that Snowe is up for reelection this year and the league's advertising campaign would violate a new federal law that prohibits "electioneering communications" aimed at a federal candidate 30 days or fewer from a primary or election date. The Republican primary in Maine is June 13.

The League had argued it had a First Amendment right to run its ads, and its lead attorney, Jim Bopp, said the group will file an expedited appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Three years ago, the Supreme Court upheld the law against a First Amendment challenge. (Sirius OutQ News)

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