Gay rights group donates $1 million to ballot campaigns

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Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign. - PHOTO: Courtesy

The country’s leading gay rights group is donating $1 million to campaigns in four states where gay marriage is on the ballot this fall.

The Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign is donating $250,000 apiece to allies in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. It brings the group’s total spending on the issue this year to nearly $5 million.

Voters in Maine are voting on whether to legalize gay marriage. In Minnesota, the vote is whether to ban gay marriage in the state constitution. In Maryland and Washington, voters will decide whether to uphold laws authorizing gay marriage passed earlier this year.

Polls have shown increasing support for gay marriage around the country, but so far backers have not been able to translate that into a ballot box win.

“This is a tipping point year in the fight for marriage equality that requires significant investment,” said HRC president Chad Griffin. “We are committed to making sure this is the year that our opponents can no longer claim Americans will not support marriage equality at the ballot box.”

HRC has established a special ballot measure PAC to aid funding of all four states.

“Bans on marriage for same-sex couples have sent the devastating message to young people that they cannot grow up to live their dreams and be full and equal citizens,” said Griffin. “This is the year we will change that.”