The Cost Of Equality
Newly released documents reveal that pro-marriage equality advocates outspent the opposition in Vermont by more than 7-1.
The leading proponent of Vermont's gay marriage bill spent about $294,000 on lobbying and advertising in advance of the Legislature's vote -- more than seven times as much as opponents did, according to disclosure forms filed Monday. Through its task force and an action committee, Vermont Freedom to Marry spent $65,866 of that in the week before the April 7 vote by the Democrat-controlled Vermont house, which passed the bill in a 100-49 vote to override the veto of Republican Gov. Jim Douglas. Under the state Constitution, the override vote needed a two-thirds majority, or at least 100 votes. Meanwhile, same-sex marriage opponents spent only $41,769 on their campaign, according to final disclosure forms filed Monday.The anti-gay group Take It To The People says that gays "should be embarrassed" that they spent so much money only to win marriage equality by one vote. I don't know about being "embarrassed," but what happened in Vermont should be instructive for what is coming in Maine.