Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Gay Lobby Has Big Bucks to Oppose Marriage Amendment

From the AP wire, a story about the big bucks that the gay lobby has raised in order to fight the gay marriage ban that will be on the November ballot.
MADISON, Wis. - A Madison philanthropist has given $275,000 of her personal fortune to try to defeat a state ban on gay marriage and civil unions, according to a filing made public on Friday.

Dale Leibowitz was the largest donor to Fair Wisconsin, the political action committee leading the charge against the constitutional amendment that appears on the ballot on Nov. 7, according to the group’s campaign finance report.

Other major donations to the group included $80,000 from the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights group, and $25,000 from the state teachers’ union, the filing with the state Elections Board shows. Esmond Harmsworth, a Boston literary agent, also pitched in $25,000.

Overall, Fair Wisconsin raised $1.3 million between March 1 and June 30. After expenses, the group has $1.08 million cash on hand.

Leibowitz, whose Purple Moon Foundation donates hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to various causes, chipped in $150,000 in March, $75,000 in May and $50,000 in June, the filing shows.

Fair Wisconsin spokesman Josh Freker emphasized that Leibowitz was one of more than 5,000 donors to the cause, 90 percent of whom were from the state.
Supporters of the amendment appear to have raised much less money. Vote Yes For Marriage reported raising $2,500.

Although these are the latest numbers available, they are almost three months old.

Pro-amendment forces may close the gap. Focus on the Family, for example, has entered the fray.

The notion that gays are a poor oppressed minority, like blacks before the Civil Rights movement, doesn’t make a lot of sense. Gays are quite affluent, and with the support of a large constellation of interest groups.

Including the teachers’ union.


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