Dioceses Major Contributors to Repeal Same-Sex Marriage

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PORTLAND, MAINE * Gathering money from 50 U.S. dioceses, the Portland diocese contributed more than $550,000 to the campaign to reject Maine's law extending civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples, according to financial records filed with the state.

On Nov. 3, 53 percent of Maine voters rejected the same-sex marriage law. Supporters and opponents of the law spent more than $7 million, according to the Portland Press Herald.

During the summer, Bishop Richard J. Malone of Portland sent an appeal to other Catholic bishops seeking contributions to defeat the law that the state-legislature passed and the governor signed in May.

According to financial records filed with Maine's campaign-finance watchdog, the Portland diocese donated nearly $286,000 to Stand for Marriage Maine, which was seeking to repeal the same-sex law. Malone had ordered a second collection be taken up at Masses one September weekend. The collection netted $86,000.

After Portland, the largest diocesan contributors were the Philadelphia archdiocese and the Phoenix diocese, each giving $50,000. The sees of Newark, N.J.; St. Louis; and Youngstown, Ohio, each contributed $10,000. The Diocesan Assistance Fund of Providence, R.I., gave $10,000.

Contributing $5,000 were the dioceses of Arlington, Va.; Rockford, Ill.; Crookston, Minn.; and Pittsburgh. The Roman Catholic Foundation in the Archdiocese of Baltimore Inc. donated $2,500. Contributing $2,000 were the dioceses of Jefferson City, Mo., and Savannah, Ga., and the archdioceses of Portland, Ore., and New Orleans.

The Columbus, Ohio, diocese gave $1,500. Contributing $1200 were the archdioceses of Cincinnati; Hartford, Conn.; and Atlanta; the dioceses of Fort Worth, Texas; Green Bay, Wis.; Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind.; Baton Rouge, La.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Gary, Ind.; Parma, Ohio; Erie, Pa.; Joliet, Ill.; and Grand Island, Neb.; and the Diocesan Center for Family Life in Jacksonville, Fla.

Contributing $500 were the dioceses of Biloxi, Miss.; Altoona-Johnstown, Pa.; Metuchen, N.J.; Scranton, Pa.; Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Mo.; St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands; Winona, Minn.; Yakima, Wash.; LaCrosse, Wis., and Rockville Centre, N.Y.

The Eparchy of St. Maron of Brooklyn gave $300. The dioceses of Wilmington, Del., and Las Cruces, N.M., gave $200 each. The San Angelo, Texas, diocese gave $150.

The financial report says the bishop of Fall River, Mass., donated $5,000; the archbishop of Mobile, Ala. …