Donald Mendell claims in the first TV ad from opponents of gay marriage in Maine that he was targeted for his opposition in 2009.

Opponents of marriage equality successfully turned to voters in 2009 to repeal a law approved by lawmakers. One ad, titled Safe Schools, featured Mendell, a high school counselor.

“Vote yes on Question 1 to prevent homosexual marriage from being pushed on Maine students,” Mendell said in the ad.

Mendell's appearance in the ad prompted a complaint to state regulatory officers, alleging that Mendell “does not have the right as a licensed social worker to make public comments that can endanger or promote discrimination.”

Three years later, supporters have returned the issue to the ballot box. If approved in November, Maine would become the first state to legalize gay nuptials by referendum.

On Monday, Protect Marriage Maine, the group working to defeat the measure, released its first TV spot, in which Mendell claims he was targeted for his views.

“I was a successful school counselor in Maine for over 20 years; once nominated as teacher of the year,” Mendell says in the new ad. “Yet, when I supported traditional marriage, they tried to get me fired, they went after my state license, claiming that supporting marriage as between one man and one woman is discriminatory.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)