Maine demands that pro-marriage group reveal donor names

ABC News reports.

Excerpt:

Maine’s ethics panel fined a national anti-gay marriage group more than $50,000 on Wednesday and ordered it to reveal the donors who backed its efforts to repeal the state’s gay marriage law.

The Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices found that the National Organization for Marriage violated campaign finance laws by failing to properly register as a ballot question committee and file financial reports in the 2009 referendum that struck down gay marriage. Same-sex unions were legalized by voters in 2012.

The commission also ruled that the organization must file a campaign finance report, which would force it to disclose the names of its donors. The National Organization for Marriage has fought for years to keep its donor list secret, saying doing so would put its contributors at risk for harassment and intimidation.

[…]”We didn’t create a scheme, we tried to follow the law,” Brian Brown, president of the Washington, D.C.-based organization, told the four-member panel on Wednesday.

Brown, who served as executive director of the National Organization for Marriage in 2009, was one of three members of the committee that led the Stand for Marriage Maine PAC.

Commissioners said his dual role and the fact that the national group controlled a majority of the PAC’s funds was problematic for its argument that the funds weren’t raised to influence the Maine campaign.

The group says that it’s being targeted because of its stance on gay marriage and that groups on the other side of the issue — such as the Human Rights Campaign — followed the same guidelines.

State investigators said that its examination of the National Organization for Marriage actions was brought by a specific complaint and that the organization could have sought a similar investigation into the Human Rights Campaign.

John Eastman, a National Organization for Marriage lawyer, said that it intends to file a complaint against HRC in addition to filing an appeal.

The Human Rights Campaign mentioned in the article called the Family Research Council a “hate group”. The FRC was the target of an act of domestic terrorism by a gay activist who also thought that the Family Research Council was a “hate group”. The Human Rights Campaign was also implicated in the IRS leak of NOM donors.

What will gay activists do with the list of donor names? Ask Brendan Eich what they will do with it.

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