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Equality round-up: February 27, 2012


By Adam Bink

A couple of things floating around that are of note:

  • Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, hired by U.S. House Republicans, appeals DOMA ruling in California courts.
  • New Des Moines Register poll: 56% of Iowans are against a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
  • Gov. O’Malley to sign marriage equality bill on Thursday. Meanwhile, opponents have already worked to qualify a referendum for the November ballot.
  • Noted in the comments on an earlier post today, National Organization for Marriage’s challenge to Maine’s campaign finance disclosure law is denied by the Supreme Court.
  • Last, Pam Spaulding has an amazing run-down of all the action going on in North Carolina to fight Amendment One. Must-read.

What are you reading?


  • 1. Sagesse  |  February 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm


  • 2. Greyhound81  |  February 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Regarding the financial disclosure laws in Maine, now that scotus has (by denying a review of the circuit court ruling) affirmed the right of the state of Maine to require disclosure of contributors. Cannot the state require NOM to fulfill it's legal requirement if it wants to contribute or act in any way in the 2012 initiative question coming up in November??

    Anyone know what the state can do??

  • 3. Rich  |  February 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I'm from the State and I can assure you NOM will not get away without disclosing its contributors from three years ago and any contributors to our current marriage equality initiative. I suspect Bishop Malone and the CC might be a bit nervous about the amount of its financial involvement….about to be revealed.

  • 4. Glen  |  February 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    But… but… but…. NOM promised us; they claimed they had a proven track record, of keeping donors anonymous!

    Grrrrr…. perhaps they should have also mentioned to us that they've been losing court-case after court-case, and appeal after appeal, on trying to keep their donors secret.

  • 5. Str8Grandmother  |  February 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    There is so much going on , on the legislative fronts, court cases etc. that I seem to loose some of the details sometimes. BUT I seem to recall that this NOM problem in Maine is becasue Fred Karger (prolly spelled his last name wrong) who is gay and running for President filed a complaint with the Maine Elections Board, that is what this case started out as, am I right? Do I remember this right?

    Here is a good comment from Joe My God from a person named Dave –
    "To clarify: the lower court ruling did not order NOM to disclose its donors. The lower court ruling upheld as constitutional the statute that would require disclosure. The matter now returns to the Maine elections commission to conclude its long-pending investigation and order disclosure. I think that this could happen before November.

    OF MUCH MORE IMMEDIATE INTEREST is the fact that the trial record in this case will now be made public. There was a non-jury trial held before the presiding judge. The record was mostly kept under seal at NOM's request. The court ordered it unsealed and NOM included that issue as part of its appeal to SCOTUS. That issue is now over and that trial record, which includes NOM internal strategy documents and trial testimony, must be made public in the next few weeks. It will be available in paper form in the district court in Maine. Someone needs to go and make copies."

    I think we have a member Dave in Maine, hopefully he will remember better than the rest of us since he is closer to the topic. Also maybe he can go make copies (grin) as the commentor at Joe My God said that already there will be disclosures from the trial testimony.

    I hope the Main Stream Press picks up on this story and that it grows legs, as little by little we find out more and more once the sun starts shining where it hasn't been shining lately.

    God I hope this is a treasure trove for us.

  • 6. Bob  |  February 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    ditto,, can't wait to read it

  • 7. Rich  |  February 27, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    We have a news columnist from the Portland Press Herald ( Bill Nimitz). He will pick up on this and go after it with gusto. He's already addressed this issue so he will not let it go.

  • 8. Str8Grandmother  |  February 27, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Rich, is my memory serving me right? Didn't this case start when Fred Karger (sp) filed a complaint with the Maine Elections Board over NOM?

  • 9. Rich  |  February 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I don't know of that. I do know that this issue has come up off and on and Bill Nimitz has been following it closely. I believe he will jump on this big-time. There were tons of lies spilled in the state, as well as threats of indoctrination of kids/schools and oblique threats of "a gathering storm" from the advertising. I truly believe that Bishop Malone and the Catholic Church were instrumental in this sham. I also believe that the Church is terrified that their financial investment and willingness to go along with the ruse will be revealed for all the citizens to see. I have monitored the NOM site all day/night and, except for one inquiry about this decision, they are ignoring it completely. This could be explosive. If handled appropriately, ie: truthfully, the good citizens of Maine will come to know that NOM is a "cancer" that invaded our state and sought to sow seeds of hate and distrust. If we find that, in fact, there are very few, albeit wealthy, contributors to this cause, then the result is that the "Emperor with no Clothes" invaded Maine, which has its own delicious value. BTW…every other state invaded by NOM stands to gain/learn from this decision.

  • 10. Jim  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:38 am

    If it turns out that a church gave directly to NOM – not as individual people within the church, but as the actual organization – could the church potentially lose tax-exempt status?

  • 11. Jim  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I appreciate that I got some "thumbs up" for my question: If it turns out that a church gave directly to NOM – not as individual people within the church, but as the actual organization – could the church potentially lose tax-exempt status?
    But I really am asking the question. I've seen some great legal responses here. Can anyone answer?

  • 12. Kate  |  February 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Rich, that is terrific news! Keep us posted the second you hear anything.

  • 13. Reformed  |  February 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Speaking of where the sun doesn't shine . . . and what NOM can do if they dont like it . . . No. no. Won't go there.

  • 14. Str8Grandmother  |  February 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Re-posting a comment from the same David who posted this on GoodAsYou, and also at Joe My God-

    "As far as I know, there has been no stay. The commission demanded documents from NOM. NOM refused and litigated the issue. It lost and was forced to turn over documents and submit to depositions. I can't imagine that there is all that much more for the commission to do in order to conclude its investigation. That is why I think there is a good chance that we will get a disclosure order from the commission before November. Now, after that happens, you can be sure that NOM will run to state court in ME to argue that the commission's decision was arbitrary and capricious, or that it otherwise was in violation of statute.

    No one knows the day or the hour when NOM is at long last forced to release its donor names. But we know for a certainty that a very interesting trial record must be made public within a week or 2. That is why I am much more interested in that."

  • 15. Str8Grandmother  |  February 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Even more from David at GoodAsYou

  • 16. Gregory in SLC  |  February 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm


  • 17. Str8Grandmother  |  February 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Thanks Gregory. It is so hard to keep track of all the lawsuits.

    Here from the Reuters article you linked to

    "The laws require the registration of political action committees and disclosure of certain contributions to individual candidates and expenditures in elections."

    ""The laws also require that political advertisements and some other political messages contain statements of attribution and on whether it was authorized by the candidate."

    "The case was separate from a U.S. appeals court ruling this month that could force the National Organization for Marriage to disclose its donors who gave more than $100 to its efforts against same-sex marriage in the state."

    Thanks again Greg I think this article does a nice job explaining the 2 different court cases.

  • 18. bjasonecf  |  February 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Perry Case: The two notices filed in the District court case a few minutes ago are procedural and related to the Mandate from the 9th circuit keeping the trial recordings under seal. Nothing new.

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