Maine’s Highest Court Requires NOM to Comply with Law, Turn Over Donors
May 30, 2013 by Darrin Hurwitz, Assistant General Counsel
In yet another significant legal setback for the National Organization for Marriage, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that NOM must comply with subpoenas issued by the state’s Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices demanding information from NOM and its president, Brian Brown, including the names of donors.
Maine authorities allege that, in 2009, NOM violated the state’s campaign finance laws by failing to disclose contributors to its ballot measure efforts. For four years, NOM has stonewalled the state’s investigation, filing a slew of unsuccessful lawsuits in federal court and resisting subpoenas in state court, all part of a massive effort to evade campaign finance laws in order to keep its donors secret. NOM’s legal gamesmanship is critical to maintaining its central purpose, serving as a vehicle for hiding anti-LGBT donors.
In today’s unanimous decision, the Court stated that “[NOM’s] arguments were not persuasive” and that “transparency in campaign finance enables the electorate to make informed decisions.” The Court rejected NOM’s claim that disclosure would expose their donors to threats, harassment, and reprisal, joining courts in California and Washington that have found these arguments completely unsupported by evidence.
Last November, marriage equality passed at the polls in Maine. Today, the people of Maine can further rest assured that no one – not even NOM – is above the law.
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