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1) First, the basics. On November 3rd, the people of Maine will vote on Ballot Question 1, which says: “Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?” The marriage equality bill was signed by Governor Baldacci on May 6th of this year, and this ballot initiative is a result of a “people’s veto” process. To protect equality, people need to vote “NO.”

2) Stand for Marriage Maine, the organization opposing equality and urging people to vote “YES” on 1, has been using the photo shown above to represent the families in Maine who will somehow be torn asunder if Jim and Steve (an actual gay couple in Bar Mills, Maine) are given the legal right to civil marriage that they were promised back in May. The problem is that this photo is not of an actual Maine family. Stand for Marriage Maine purchased the photo from istockphoto.com, and their use of the photo in this campaign violates (or very nearly violates) istockphoto’s terms of service. Whether or not it officially goes against their contract, Stand for Marriage Maine removed the photo from the front-page of their website within days of this story being reported on.

Could they not find a real Maine family that was willing to appear in their anti-equality ad? Maybe not…

3) Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate, wrote on Huffington Post recently about where Stand for Marriage Maine has been getting their money.

 Of the $343,689.50 raised to pay the Brighton, Michigan based National Petition  Management, Inc. to collect the signatures, [for the “people’s veto“] only $400, or  a mere .001 of that total came from individuals. The remaining $343,289.50 was  given by various religious organizations and James Dobson’s Focus on the Family.  The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) gave nearly half of that total,  $160,000. The remainder came from Catholic organizations ($150,000) [  $100,000 from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and $50,000 from the  Knights of Columbus] and James Dobson’s Focus on the Family ($31,000).

Only four people? Only four individual Maine donors? No wonder they couldn’t find any real Maine families to be in their ad.

4) The Schubert/Flint Campaign Management firm, the people who organized the Yes on 8 campaign in California, are the same people who are now working on Yes on 1 in Maine. We all know how effective they were on the west coast, so we should not underestimate their influence on the east coast.

That is why it is so important that we do all we can as early as we can. To donate to the No on 1 Protect Maine Equality campaign, please visit the donation page at the main site or you can donate to their Act Blue account. Believe me when I say that even $5 will make a difference. Also, please consider donating within the next 24 hours because if we canan raise $10,00 by Friday, a very generous, anonymous Maine donor will match our contributions. That means that $10,000 becomes $20,000!

To learn more about the No on 1 Protect Maine Equality campaign, please visit their website
~ Samantha

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