News Column

Californians Give $1 Million to Gay Marriage Initiatives in 4 States

Nov. 1, 2012

Phillip Reese, The Sacramento Bee

In 2008, big money flowed into California from other states in support and opposition to a gay marriage ballot initiative. In 2012, big money is flowing out of California toward similar initiatives elsewhere.

About 2,000 Californians have given a total of almost $1 million in support of gay marriage initiatives in Washington, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, according to campaign finance records. Californians have given only about $25,000 in opposition to gay marriage in those states.

Most of the money has flowed into Washington and Maine, the two states where many polls show the most support for approving gay marriage. Some of the biggest financial support has come from Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

A state has never legalized gay marriage through an initiative, though many, like California, have banned gay marriage through the initiative process.

These elections could eventually have bearing here. If court challenges don't overturn California's ban on gay marriage, it's likely gay marriage proponents will go back to voters. They'd like to go into that battle with momentum from victories in other states.

Sources: States of Maine, Minnesota, Maryland and Washington.

Note: Maryland, Minnesota and Maine voters will cast ballots on measures that would legalize gay marriage. Minnesotans will vote on an initiative that would ban gay marriage. Some campaign committees in support or opposition to gay marriage don't break out their individual contributors.

Source: (c)2012 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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