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Maine's high court: NOM cannot shield names of anti-gay donors

PORTLAND, Maine – The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) lost again in court in the anti-gay group’s repeated attempts to shield the names of its donors.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling that NOM must identify its donors to a 2009 statewide campaign against same-gender marriage. Maine’s election oversight commission had requested the donor list as part of an inquiry into allegations that NOM has violated the state’s campaign laws.

NOM had argued in a lower court that the subpoenas issued by the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Elections Practices violated their donors’ First Amendment rights and would potentially create “threats, harassment and reprisal” against those donors.

“Our review of the extensive record, the Superior Court’s well-reasoned opinion, and the detailed analysis of related issues by our federal court colleagues leads us to conclude that, on the facts of this case, the Commission did not err,” Thursday’s ruling said.

NOM raised almost $2 million, including more than $500,000 from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, to a successful 2009 campaign to defeat marriage equality at the ballot box. Just years later, Maine voters approved marriage equality in a referendum in November 2012.