Court won’t rush appeal on same-sex-marriage ad


WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court refused Monday to speed up an appeal by a conservative organization seeking to air a radio ad on same sex marriage around election time.

The proposed ad by the Christian Civic League would refer to the two U.S. senators from the state of Maine, a format the Federal Election Commission says would violate the ban on “electioneering communications” in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.

The reform law bars corporations or labor unions from paying for any broadcast referring to a candidate for federal office within 30 days of a federal primary election or 60 days of a general election.

On May 9, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., rejected the civic league’s request for a preliminary injunction to fund the ad, saying that it represents “the sort of veiled attack that the Supreme Court has warned may improperly influence an election.”

The group said the Senate debate on the Marriage Protection Amendment to the Constitution will take place in early June and it asked the Supreme Court to schedule oral arguments in the case sometime this month. The court issued a one-sentence order denying the request.

The amendment declares that marriage is solely between a man and a woman.

The Maine primary is June 13 and the proposed ad asks the public to call the state’s two senators, Republicans Olympia Snowe Susan Collins, and urge them to vote for the amendment. Snowe is running unopposed.

The FEC had urged the Supreme Court not to put the appeal on a fast track, saying it has no obligation to reorder its calendar and issue a decision under the “extraordinary expedited schedule” the civic league proposes.

The case is Christian Civic League of Maine v. FEC, 05-1447.

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