Marriage defenders celebrate victory in New York, await investigation in Maine

The National Organization for Marriage is pouring salt in the wound after the gay marriage defeat in New York with a celebratory fundraiser release sent out by the organization’s Brian Brown. He writes that the $600,000 the group spent in New York forced state senators to turn away from support for gay marriage. Maybe not such a great pitch, though, given that NOM is the subject of an ethics investigation for the $1.6 million it spent in Maine this fall on an initiative that overturned a law extending marriage rights to gay couples.


NOM, the national Washington DC-based organization, specifically focused its efforts in New York this month, just as it it did in Maine last month. That’s the problem.

Gay marriage advocate Fred Karger with the group Californians Against Hate has been tracking NOM for nearly two years and he is now using the NOM fundraising mailers targeting New York as additional evidence in the Maine case. In Maine, it is illegal to raise more than $5000 on any single ballot initiative effort without registering and filing finance reports as a ballot question committee. NOM didn’t do that, which means all of the $1.6 million (minus $5000) it spent there had to be raised and spent through the group’s local proxy, Stand for Marriage Maine PAC. Not likely. See the ethics commission pdf here.

At a hearing in Augusta last month, Jonathan Wayne, Executive Director of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, said he was “eager” to proceed with the commission’s investigation into the role played by NOM in the state’s election.

For now, though, NOM is celebrating.

Dear Friend of Marriage,

The New York state senate just rejected gay marriage 38 to 24. Praise God!

And thank you. NOM spent $600,000 reaching out to voters through phone calls and television and radio ads to make sure politicians heard from ordinary voters like you.

Gay marriage inevitable? Don’t believe the lie! You can make a difference and we at NOM are so proud to work with you and millions of other ordinary Americans who know in their hearts that marriage IS the union of husband and wife.

It has been a real privilege to work alongside so many state leaders determined to protect marriage in New York. Special thanks to Rev. Jason McGuire of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms for his tireless efforts on the ground, and to State Senator Ruben Diaz who was in his office praying before the vote and has been a true leader on this issue.

And to all of you in New York, a special thank you. I know sometimes we ask you over and over again to make phone calls and emails to your elected officials, but it is your phone calls and emails that ultimately made the difference today. Up until the last minute, Sen. Tom Duane was assuring everyone that he had the votes to pass the bill. But when push came to shove, New York legislators listened to their constituents and soundly rejected same-sex marriage.

This great victory will reverberate up and down America, putting the fear of God–and the American voter–into the hearts of weak-kneed and weak-willed politicians everywhere.

Usually, I don’t ask for donations in victory emails like this, but I feel I must make you aware of our urgent needs today. We have totally over-extended ourselves in the fight to protect marriage in Maine, New York, and New Jersey. Our accounts are empty, and we desperately need to raise funds now so that we are ready when the next fight arises.

Will you please give generously today? Click here to make a secure online donation of $35, $50, $100, or even $1000 if you have the means.

Thank you! Today is a day to celebrate!

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