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Judge: Gay Marriage Repeal Funders Should Turn over Donor Information
05/25/2010 11:33 AM ET  

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Rich III says the National Organization for Marriage should disclose who donated to the campaign to repeal Maine's gay marriage law.

A federal magistrate judge is recommending that a group that helped finance the campaign to repeal Maine's gay marriage law turn over information about its donors.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Rich III says that the National Organization for Marriage, which contributed nearly $2 million to the people's veto campaign, should turn over fundraising information after January 1, 2009 to the Maine Ethics Commission.

Opponents of the people's veto measure had claimed that NOM, a national group, had violated Maine's campaign finance laws by donating large sums of money to the repeal effort without revealing who was supplying the money.

NOM claimed that revealing its list of donors would have a chilling effect on the First Amendment right of free speech by putting its donors at risk of reprisal.

The Ethics Commission decided last year to launch a probe of the NOM's finances. NOM sought a temporary restraining order against the commission, but that was turned down by Federal Judge D. Brock Hornby, whos aid the group was not likely to prevail on the merits of the case.

To read Judge Rich's entire opinion, click here.


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