Gathering money from 50 U.S. dioceses, the Portland, Maine, diocese contributed more than $550,000 to the campaign to rejecte Maine’s law extending civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples, according to financial records filed with the state agency that tracks political contributions.
In the Nov. 3 referendum, Maine voters rejected 53 to 47 percent the same-sex marriage law.
Supporters and opponents of the law spent more than $7 million, according to the Portland Press Herald.
During the summer, Bishop Richard J. Malone of Portland sent an appeal to other Catholic bishops seeking contributions to defeat the law that the state legislature passed and the governor signed in May.
According to financial records filed with Maine’s campaign finance watchdog, the Portland diocese donated nearly $286,000 to Stand For Marriage Maine, which was seeking to repeal the same-sex law. Malone had ordered a second collection be taken up at Masses one September weekend which netted $86,000.
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…