October 22, 2012

NYC Mayor Bloomberg donates to Maine gay-marriage effort

Earlier this month, Bloomberg gave $250,000 to a similar effort in Maryland to help win gay marriage at the ballot box.

By Susan M. Cover scover@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a $125,000 challenge grant to support gay marriage in Maine, said Mainers United for Marriage, the major group supporting Question 1.

“I was proud to support the successful push for marriage equality in New York State, and I’m proud to stand with supporters around the country.  I do not believe that government has any business telling one class of couples that they cannot marry,” Bloomberg said in a statement issued Monday by Mainers United.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg gave $250,000 to a similar effort in Maryland to win gay marriage at the ballot box. Today, he also gave challenge grants to Washington ($250,000) and Minnesota ($125,000), two other states that will vote on gay marriage this year, according to his website.

An independent billionaire who made his money as founder and owner of the Bloomberg business news media empire, Bloomberg has also given $500,000 to support U.S. Senate candidate Angus King. Bloomberg also recently held a fundraiser for King in New York.

The latest campaign finance reports released Oct. 6 showed gay-marriage supporters with a commanding financial lead over opponents. Mainers United have raised $3.35 million this year, while the leading opponents, Protect Marriage Maine, have raised $429,794.

Those totals will be updated later this week when a new batch of reports are filed by midnight Friday.

On Nov. 6, voters will head to the polls in Maine to decide Question 1, which asks if they want to allow the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Maine, Maryland and Washington voters are all voting on whether to allow gay marriage, while Minnesotans are voting on a constitutional amendment to ban it.

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