Anti-gay marriage group raises more than $370,000 during 2006

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BOSTON (AP) – A group pushing to put a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the 2008 ballot raised more than $370,000 in 2006 – more than double its contributions from the previous year. A campaign finance report filed last week with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance shows VoteOnMarriage.org spent more than $389,000 last year, including money raised the previous year.

It also used in-kind donations worth more than $60,700 in legal fees and staff time from the Massachusetts Family Institute, which helped form VoteOnMarriage.org to raise money for the ballot question.

VoteOnMarriage.org received large donations from organizations opposed to gay marriage, including Colorado-based Focus on the Family, which contributed $74,632; Citizens for Community Values in Ohio, which gave $50,000: and the Wakefield-based Coalition for Marriage and Family, which gave $40,500.

The group’s spokesman, Kris Mineau, said it was being outspend by same-sex marriage advocates. “But we certainly, I think, are getting our money’s worth,” Mineau told The Boston Globe.

MassEquality.org’s campaign director, Marc Solomon, said the group formed to fight the ballot question spent $1 million lobbying against the amendment last year.

Earlier this month, Massachusetts legislators voted to advance the amendment to the current Legislature. If at least 50 legislators approve the amendment in the current session, the measure will go before voters in November 2008.

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