A few thousand gay marriage opponents gathered in Augusta yesterday for an unusual session closed to the public and the news media.
"There's a misconception that the rally is to try to reach undecided voters and to convince people to vote 'yes' on Quesion One," Organizer Bob Emerich said. "The purpose of the rally is for supporters, and we're going to be discussing some of our strategy and some of the things that we want our supporters to be doing. And we'd just rather not have that to be completely public knowledge at this point."
Question One on the November ballot will ask voters whether or not they want to repeal the state's newly-enacted gay marriage law. Tony Perkins of the Washington D.C.-based Family Research Council says other national groups like his will join in assisting those opposed to gay marriage in any way they can.
But Perkins bushed off suggestions that the Maine effort was being directed from out of state. "These are grass-roots intensive, and it takes people on the ground here, and that's people here in Maine," Perkins said.
Meanwhile, Maine's Catholic churches took up a second collection at Masses this weekend to help meet reporting requirements in the referendum campaign to overturn the law recognizing gay marriages. Voters will decide November 3rd whether to repeal that law.
In August, a California-based gay rights group filed a complaint saying some groups are contributing to Stand for Marriage campaign without reporting the names of their donors. The Lewiston Sun Journal quotes church officials as saying they'll meet all reporting requirements.