In a newly released ad, supporters of gay marriage in Maine have responded to allegations by opponents that gay marriage will harm children, calling the claims “not true.”

Opponents of gay marriage in the Pine State have mounted a “people's veto” to repeal a gay marriage law approved by lawmakers in the spring. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and its partner, the Catholic Diocese of Portland, formed Stand for Marriage Maine to put the issue up for a vote in the state.

NOM played a pivotal role in backing a successful ban on gay marriage in California last November. The group's first ad in Maine recycled arguments used during the California debate. The ad tells viewers that gay marriage will inevitably harm children.

In that ad, Charla Bansley, identified only as a teacher from Ellsworth, says Question 1 has “everything to do with schools.”

Robb and Robin Wirthlin, a Massachusetts couple who also appeared in a California ad against gay marriage, say: “After Massachusetts legalized gay marriage, our son came home and told us that the school taught him that boys can marry other boys.”

In a tight close up, Mrs. Wirthlin adds, “He's in the second grade.”

“It's already happened in Massachusetts,” Bansley says, then adds, “Vote yes on Question 1 to prevent homosexual marriage from being taught in Maine schools.”

“Not true,” says the new Protect Maine Equality 30-second spot titled Proud.

“In Maine, we're proud of every family and every child, regardless of who their parents are. That's the Maine way,” a male announcer says.

“But outsiders are trying to harm our kids and make them feel ashamed by making false claims about what's taught in Maine classrooms that are baseless, not true.”

“It won't work,” the announcer adds.

Bansley, the teacher in the anti-gay ad, also runs the Maine affiliate of Concerned Women for America (CWA), a group opposed to gay rights. CWA is the leading defender of “don't ask, don't tell,” the law that forbids gay and lesbian military service members from serving openly.

NOM is best known for producing the widely parodied gay marriage ad released in the spring titled Gathering Storm.