Catholics in Maine gave about $86,000
in September to fight a gay marriage law.
According to a statement released by
the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, a one-time collection taken
in church masses raised $41,000 towards the campaign to repeal
Maine's gay marriage law approved by legislators in the spring.
Additional envelopes were provided for
parishioners to donate to Stand for Marriage Maine, the group behind
the repeal effort. The envelopes totaled an additional $45,000 in
donations, Marc Mutty, the group's chairman, said Friday. “Certainly
a reasonable amount,” he said.
Critics of the effort were not
impressed. “For the collection to only produce basically 43 cents
per capita of Catholics in Maine doesn't seem to be a ringing
affirmation that Catholics are supporting the bishop's position,”
Anne Underwood, founder of Catholics for Marriage Equality, a group
that supports the gay marriage law, told the Kennebec Journal.
The diocese also said that its first
financial report to state officials includes $33,000 in in-kind
services, including the salaries of two employes – a secretary and
Mutty, the director of public affairs for the diocese. During the
July to September period, the diocese collected $214,000 from 56
dioceses and bishops to be donated to the campaign to end gay