The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has donated $500,000 to the campaign working to defeat gay marriage in Maine.

The matching donation was reported by the AP, which also quoted Mike McTighe, campaign manager for Mainers United for Marraige, as saying that NOM plans to spend $385,000 on advertising in the three weeks prior to Election Day.

Marriage equality supporters are returning the issue to the ballot box after voters in 2009 narrowly repealed a marriage law approved by lawmakers with a “people's veto,” known as Question 1. If approved, Maine would become the first state to legalize such unions with a popular vote.

Mainers United for Marriage this week stepped up its marriage equality campaign, announcing a $100,000 television campaign at a rally held Monday at Portland City Hall.

“My greatest hope is that the first marriage ceremony to be performed after the election in November will be here in Portland at City Hall,” Portland Mayor Michael Brennan told supporters.

The group's first ad features Pastor Michael Gray and his wife Robyn calling on Mainers to legalize such unions. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

According to a recent poll, 57 percent of Mainers support gay marriage, while 35 percent remain opposed.