Maine gay marriage supporters raise $1.2 million
PORTLAND, Maine — Supporters of a ballot initiative to legalize same-sex marriage have raised about 25 times more money than opposition groups, according to finance reports filed with the state.
The reports show that political action committees in favor of November’s state referendum seeking to legalize same-sex marriage have raised nearly $1.2 million. The lead PAC, Mainers United for Marriage, has raised about $1.1 million.
PACs that oppose the referendum have raised less than $50,000. The latest financial reports had to be filed with the Maine Ethics Commission by midnight Tuesday.
The fund-raising gap will narrow in the months ahead when the Washington, D.C.-based National Organization for Marriage begins giving money to opponents of the Nov. 6 referendum asking voters if they support legalizing same-sex marriage, said Matt McTighe, campaign manager for Mainers United for Marriage.
The National Organization for Marriage donated more than $2 million to gay marriage opponents in 2009, when Maine voters overturned a gay marriage law, 53-47 percent, enacted by the Legislature earlier in the year, McTighe said.
The group has promised to be active in Maine and other states where similar questions are on the November ballot.
‘‘It’s misleading to think we’ve outraised them 25 to 1,’’ McTighe said. ‘‘The fact is we have to continue to outraise them by that amount because in the next month or two, the National Organization for Marriage . . . will write another big $2 million or $2½ million check.’’
McTighe expects his own group to raise about $5 million for the entire campaign.