Maine’s gay-marriage vote was a national Catholic fight

Fifty Catholic dioceses contributed money to the Diocese of Portland, Maine, to aid its fight against a gay marriage law.

It worked. The law was wiped off the books by voters in a Nov. 3 referendum, 53% to 47%.

According to National Catholic Reporter and the Portland Press Herald, financial records from the state of Maine show that the 50 dioceses contributed over $550,000.

Overall, some $7 million was raised by both sides in an all-out dogfight over gay marriage.

The Portland Diocese contributed $286,000 to Stand For Marriage Maine, that group that was seeking to repeal the same-sex law. NCR writes:

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After Portland, Maine, the largest diocesan contributors were the Philadelphia archdiocese and Phoenix diocese, each giving $50,000. The sees of Newark, N.J., St. Louis, Mo., and Youngstown, Ohio, each contributed $10,000. The Diocesan Assistance Fund of Providence, R.I., gave $10,000.00.

Contributing $5,000 were the dioceses of Arlington, Va., Rockford, Ill., Crookston, Minn., and Pittsburgh, Pa. The Roman Catholic Foundation in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Inc. donated $2,500.

Contributing $2,000 were the diocese of Portland, Ore., Jefferson City, Mo., Savannah, Ga., and the archdiocese of New Orleans.

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Many more kicked in $1,000 or $500.

bishopmalonePortland Bishop Richard Malone sent an appeal for help during the summer to his fellow bishops across the country.

Donna Farrell, spokeswoman for the Arch of Philadelphia, told NCR why her archdiocese sent aid up to Portland: “As part of the universal church, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia responds to various requests for donations which come from outside the diocese, in order to advance the mission of the church by promoting and defending the teaching of Christ.”

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.