Yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage and American Principles in Action, the c4 arm of the American Principles Project, which was founded by NOM Chairman of the Board, Robert P. George, filed a lawsuit claiming that they should not have to follow Maine’s election laws:
[NOM] has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Bangor alleging that Maine’s financial reporting requirements are unconstitutional. The lawsuit seeks a court injunction prohibiting the state from enforcing a law that NOM officials claim is being used to harass and intimidate opponents of gay marriage.
“The reporting requirements become onerous and burdensome, especially when you are working in several states, and are an infringement of free speech,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s executive director.
Brown and NOM’s attorneys contend the organization did not violate Maine’s rules because they were soliciting donations for the general fight to protect “traditional marriage,” not for the Maine campaign in particular.
Brown argued in an interview Thursday that the reporting requirements — which include registering as a ballot question committee, appointing a treasurer and keeping detailed records for four years — are an undue burden. He also described Maine’s law as legally unclear and “patently unconstitutional” because it prohibited or discouraged free speech in the form of advocacy on one side of an issue.
As Mike Tidmus reported, one of the complaints made by APIA in the filing [PDF] is that it wants to run two ads on Maine television, but says they are “chilled from doing so, however, by the prospect of having to register as a BQC and meet the reporting and other requirements of sections 1056-B and 1059.”
They even produced transcripts of the two unbelievable ads they want to run – the first is entitled “Bigot”:
Girl: Mommy, are you a bigot?
Girl: At school, we learned that people who are against gay marriage are bigots.
Mother: No, dear. I believe that homosexuals should be treated fairly–but I also believe that marriage should be just for one man and one woman. That doesn’t make me a bigot.
Girl: What about Reverend Jones and Father Diego? Are they bigots?
Mother: Did you learn that at school too?
VO: Think that gay marriage won’t affect your family? Think again.
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And the second ad, which is amazingly even worse, is entitled “The New Curriculum”:
School Administrator (talking to an off-camera mic/reporter–as he talks, we see images of teachers in classrooms reading from blurred-out books, GLSEN-style posters, etc.): No, we’re very proud of the new curriculum. It’s all about teaching kids to embrace different lifestyles and explore their own sexuality.
Switching from images of sex ed classrooms to little boy on a bench in a darkened school hallway. We can see an adult male (not his face, we’re looking from the perspective of the child and the view never includes his head) come out of an office, take the boy’s hand, lead him into the office, and close the door. Freeze on the closed door, which has a sign that says, “Counseling Session: Do Not Disturb”
Reporter (VO) : Yes, but is it appropriate for kindergartners to be receiving counseling about whether they might be gay?
School Admin (VO): Sure, we’ve had a few complaints, but there’s not much parents can do. It’s the law, after all.
VO: Think gay marriage won’t affect your family? Think again.
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