Thursday, 07 June 2012

Maine Churches Use Father's Day Fundraising to Support Traditional Marriage

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LifeSiteNews reports that two hundred churches in Maine are going to have a special collection on Father’s Day to raise funds to defend traditional marriage against the state referendum this November which will ask voter to legalize homosexual marriage. As the Protect Marriage Maine organization site states: “Marriage is under attack in Maine. For the first time in history, gay marriage activists have pursued a ballot measure to redefine marriage. Usually they prefer activist judges and radical politicians to redefine marriage, ignoring the wishes the voters.”

Maine groups favoring same-sex marriage have already raised much more money, which was also the case the last time this battle was fought in 2009, when the same-sex marriage law was voted down by Maine voters by 300,000 to 267,000. According to information provided to the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, which requires that all political action committees involved in referendum campaigning report their finances, the pro-gay marriage group, Mariner United for Marriage, raised $359,000 during April and May and had raised $464,723 during 2012. 

Protect Marriage Maine reported raising much less money: $9,755 for the months of April and May and $11,440 for 2012, thus far. Carroll Conley Jr., who is executive director of the Christian League of Maine, said that this does not reflect the difference in how Maine voters feel about the issue: “I’m not that concerned about the money raised to this point. We know from the last campaign that we aren’t going to be able to raise as much money as the other side. If we are able to raise $1 million in this state, that would be tremendous.” The biggest single donation to the pro-gay marriage Mariner United for Marriage, came from Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, and his homosexual partner, Sean Eldridge, who gave $100,000 to the organization.  

Public Policy Polling in March of this year shows a plurality of Maine voters favoring the gay-rights measure by 47 percent to 32 percent, but a large percentage of respondents in that poll are undecided. Before the 2009 vote, however, most polls showed Maine voters opposing the ban on same sex marriages. 

Protect Marriage Maine notes that same-sex couples already have full legal rights: “They have the right to organize, raise money and mislead voters into believing we can remove the very fabric of society — marriage — and nothing bad will happen. Unfortunately, when marriage is redefined there are significant consequences to individuals, small businesses, churches, couples and especially to children. The messaging we’re using is that those who are seeking to redefine marriage in Maine believe there’s no difference between moms and dads. We believe those differences are relevant. We don’t think the differences in the genders are societally imposed roles, and we believe that children benefit when they’re in that ideal environment where there’s a mom and dad. Traditional marriage is under attack. This Father’s Day, we are encouraging churches to take a special offering that will help prevent gay marriage activists from imposing their radical agenda on our state.”

The issue is hardly unique to Maine. Maryland appears likely to have on the ballot this November a measure proposed by the Maryland Marriage Alliance to define marriage as between a man and a woman. If Maryland voters adopted this measure, it would be the 33rd state of the Union to adopt a similar referendum against gay marriage. In Washington State, R-74 appears headed to the ballot box this November as well, with the referendum to also define marriage as between a man and a woman and to put the brakes on a bill passed by the Washington legislature earlier this year. 

Minnesota will also have on the ballot this November a measure to define marriage between a man and a woman, and polling has shifted back and forth on whether that ballot measure is likely to pass. What seems fairly clear is that both sides on this issue are dug in and that ballot initiatives and litigation are likely to keep this issue tied up for a long time.

Photo: White New England church via Shutterstock

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