NOM Loses Lawsuit against Maine's Campaign Disclosure Law

A federal judge on Friday granted a summary judgment upholding the constitutionality of Maine's campaign finance disclosure law, forcing the group National Organization for Marriage to disclose the names of its donors.

U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby issued a ruling requiring NOM, and any other group that raises more than $5,000 to influence state elections, to register with the state and disclose their financial donors.

"I conclude finally that this Maine law is constitutional," Hornby wrote in his 22-page ruling released the day of the decision.

Over the years, NOM has solicited donations to pay for ads against same-sex marriage in states facing a referendum. The group has successfully led efforts to repeal gay marriage laws in California and Maine.

NOM's efforts have drawn fire from gay rights organizations and activists.

The Human Rights Campaign has repeatedly denounced the group's TV ads and has made repeated attempts to reveal NOM's financial partners.

Californians Against Hate reportedly asked the Maine Commission on Government Ethics and Election Practices to investigate NOM.

The pro-traditional marriage group spent approximately $1.9 million in the Maine referendum on a bill that legalized gay marriage. Same-sex marriage, legalized by the state government in May 2009, was repealed by a voter referendum seven months later.

Maine's law says groups that raise or spend more than $5,000 to influence elections must register with the state and disclose their donors who make contributions in excess of $100.

The state ethics commission ordered the group to reveal the source of its campaign contributions. The pro-life group sued, claiming the state law was overly burdensome and unconstitutional.

NOM has not released a statement commenting on the ruling. It is unclear whether the group will appeal.

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