Panel against effort to run same-sex ad


WASHINGTON (AP) – A three-judge panel Tuesday ruled unanimously against a conservative group that wants to run an advertisement about same-sex marriage as Maine’s primary election approaches on June 13.

The Christian Civic League of Maine had sought a preliminary injunction against “electioneering communication” provisions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.

The law bars using corporate or union money to pay for broadcast ads referring to a clearly identified federal candidate within 30 days of a primary election, or 60 days of a general election.

The group wants to run the ad in advance of an early June vote in the Senate.

“There can be no question that the governmental interest in maintaining the integrity of the electoral process is compelling,” the three-member court found.

It said the section of the law is narrowly tailored and that the group’s ad “is the sort of veiled attack that the Supreme Court has warned may improperly influence an election.”

The conservative group says the ad represents grass-roots lobbying rather than electioneering.

The ad says: “Unfortunately, your senators voted against the Marriage Protection Amendment two years ago. Please call Sens. Snowe and Collins immediately and urge them to support the Marriage Protection Amendment when it comes to a vote in early June.”

Republican Susan Collins doesn’t face re-election until 2008.

The members of the panel are Appeals Court Judge Judith Roberts and U.S. district judge Louis Oberdorfer and Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.