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Foes of gay marriage raise big money from small donors

California’s fight over marriage is attracting large sums of small donations, particularly on the side that seeks to ban same-sex marriage.

In terms of campaign spending, Proposition 8, the initiative that would create a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman, has become the most costly ballot measure on a social issue, and is drawing big money from national sources. By the time votes are cast on Nov. 4, both sides will have spent upward of $50 million.

Backers of Prop. 8 raised $24.3 million as of the end of September. Foes raised $15.4 million.

California law permits donors to give unlimited sums to support or oppose ballot measures. Both sides have received large donations.

The "yes" side has received big money from conservative Christian and Catholic groups including $450,000 from Focus on the Family, based in Colorado, and $1 million from the Knights of....

...Columbus in Connecticut. The "no" side gets big-dollar donations from from wealthy individuals from California and across the country who support same-sex marriage.

But the yes-on-8 campaign also is particularly successful at mining small donors. It raised $4.5 million in increments of less than $1,000, and $8.6 million in donations of less than $10,000. That works out to about 46% of its money.

The "yes" campaign has spent $1.6 million on mass mailings, many of which are intended to raise small donations. It has spent another $510,000 on phone banks, also aimed in part at raising money. The campaign also is relying on Internet fund-raising to bring in small bucks.

The bulk of the "yes" side’s money — at least $20.46 million, or 84% — has come donors living within California, the latest campaign finance disclosure filed with the California secretary of state shows.

The no-on-8 campaign has raised 75% of its money -- $11.5 million -- from within California.

On the "no" side, far more money has come in large checks -- $10.1 million in donations of $100,000 or more, and another $2.65 million in donations of between $10,000 and $99,999. That works out to almost 83% coming in donations of $10,000 or more.

Proposition 8 would reverse a California Supreme Court decision that struck down a previous initiative banning same-sex marriage, a statute that was by voters in 2000.

--Dan Morain

Comments () | Archives (10)

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Please write an article about PROP 2. Prop 2 requires that caged animals on farms be given enough room to stretch, that's it!

And it gives the farms SIX YEARS to comply!

It seems so "non-spiritual" for such "obscene" amounts of money being used, to keep two people, born differently, from sharing the same rights as others. In this day and age, NO ONE IN THIS NATION, should have to fight for equal rights!

The world is experiencing turmoil - HOMELESSNESS, HUNGER, ILLNESS, POVERTY! Kids are going WITHOUT parents or care. The "religious", tossing all this money into this cause should be SHAMED!

This money could be donated to some life-threatening causes. Both Gays and Straight could work TOGETHER, to HELP the world's problems. This would be TRUE SPIRITUALITY! And for the Christians, wouldn't this be what Jesus would have wanted? Isn't this WIN-WIN?

I believe God created Gays for a reason. God's reason! Maybe to curb the over population, give care to those children abandoned by their straight parents, have some very "creative" people in God's image who creates, rather than DESTROY! Gotta have FAITH in GOD'S PROGRAM!

I would look up to either group donating all this money to helping the "Aid's Orphans" in Africa, or the homeless in many of the U.S. Cities!

We need "TRUE, COMPASSIONATE, SPIRITUALITY", back in our nation!

Steve Leong

Someone very smart once said that progress does not occur in a straight line. In the march for Civil Rights there were numerous setbacks.

Also, what a colossal waste of money from the "fiscally responsible" republican party. Yeah right.

The country is slowly changing. The first step is electing Obama:

Is Focus on the Family the Colorado "family values" group that was run by the closet case guy who kept hooking up with make prostitutes?

Wow! I wonder how many poor people that money could have fed, or battered women that could have housed, or sick children that could have healed. Instead they are sending money across the country so that people can piss on my marriage. A powerful and loving marriage, conducted in Ontario, that has survived years of financial issues, mental illness, other sacrifices. Keep your eye on the ball people and keep your nose out of my marriage. There is a good chance we are more committed than you! Vote No on Proposition 8.

Dr Chip Council, Newark, CA

I will assume the writer only accidentally reversed his terminology halfway through the article to imply gay people were the big spenders in this rather than being radically outspent by out of state donations as in reality.

Of course, it's possible the author has an ulterior motive... who knows.

I don't believe that God created gay people. I believe all of us have "natural" instincts and tendencies that we are on this Earth to overcome. Banning gay marriage is essential to the foundations of what is right and wrong. God created us to have choices. He absolutely does not force any one to do or be anything. Homosexuality is man-made.

Unfortunately a large amount of money and time is what is needed to fight for true morality. Nations fall when corruption and immorality reign in. That is a historical fact. Therefore it must needs be that the true sanctity of traditional marriage, that marriage should be between one man and one woman must be defended at all costs.

And a yes vote on Proposition 8, which I support is part of winning the battle against same sex marriage.


Like so many others have commented here, I too am sick to my stomach to see so many TENS of MILLIONS of dollars raised to ELIMINATE an existing Constitutional right for a group of minorities.

I'm sure that most of the donors to the "YES" on Prop. 8 campaign were school yard bullies that beat up and verbally harrassed gay, lesbian and gender non-conforming kids at school.

What a WASTE of money and humanity! Imagine how much we could accomplish if they accepted us and allowed us to participate as equals in all segments of society. How much good could be done and how many gay suicides would be abolished.

Now that there are 3 States that legally recognize same-gender marriages (California, Massachusetts and Connecticut), perhaps these people will finally get a clue and just get along with us.

California - Vote "NO" on Prop. 8!
Arizona - Vote "NO" on Prop. 102! AGAIN!
Florida - Vote "NO" on Amendment 2!

I am an Evangelical Christian who loves and cares for all people, and Christ does, as well. He loves us so much that He gave us traditional marriage. He created us male and female because He loves us. The following study is part of my reason why I oppose homosexual marriage or relationships. I hate to see people destroy their lives with a lifestyle that destroys, like homosexual relationships do. The second reason I oppose having homosexual marriage rights is that it places homosexuals in a higher class in terms of rights as citzens above those who oppose it. I will fight for my rights as a Christian and a citzen until for the day I die for the reasons I have presented.

Study: Homosexual lifestyle strongly linked to depression, suicide
- OneNewsNow - 9/20/2008 4:00:00 AM

LONDON - A new study in the United Kingdom has revealed that homosexuals are about 50% more likely to suffer from depression and engage in substance abuse than the rest of the population, reports

After analyzing 25 earlier studies on sexual orientation and mental health, researchers, in a study published in the medical journal BMC Psychiatry, also found that the risk of suicide jumped over 200% if an individual had engaged in a homosexual lifestyle.

These findings strongly support the results of similar studies conducted in the United States, which have unveiled the severe physical and psychological health risks associated with homosexual behavior. Drs. Paul and Kirk Cameron of the Family Research Institute revealed in 2007 that research shows that the lifespan of a homosexual is on average 24 years shorter than that of a heterosexual. As a health threat, even smoking pales in comparison, as studies show smoking can shorten one's life by only 1 to 7 years on average.

While the Health 24 article suggested that homosexuals may be pushed to substance abuse and suicide because of anti-homosexual cultural and family pressures, empirical tests have shown that there is no difference in homosexual health risk depending on the level of tolerance in a particular environment. Homosexuals in the United States and Denmark - the latter of which is acknowledged to be highly tolerant of homosexuality - both die on average in their early 50's, or in their 40's if AIDS is the cause of death. The average age for all residents in either country ranges from the mid-to-upper-70s.

Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons, a psychiatrist and member of the Catholic Medical Association, says there is evidence that homosexuality is itself a manifestation of a psychological disorder accompanied by a host of mental health problems, including "major depression, suicidal ideation and attempts, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, conduct disorder, low self-esteem in males and sexual promiscuity with an inability to maintain committed relationships."

Fitzgibbons said the American Psychological Association, which is known for its support of homosexual "marriage," ignored the evidence he presented that homosexuality presents significant danger to psychological health.

My number one prayer is that each of you who are homosexual come to know the Lord who created you hetersexual, and died on the cross to save you forever. A ministry for those who want to overcome the homosexual lifestyle is the following:

This article underscores the fact that a rich elite of same sex supporters is trying to undermine the will of middle class in this country. I can't think of a better way to spend my money than to protect the rights of children -- the truly powerless in this country -- who would be subjected in our public schools to teaching about gay marriage. It's time to invest now in California's children and in our state's future by DONATING NOW TO SUPPORT PROP. 8.

You don't think it can happen here. It will. Look up the Parker v. Hurley case, decided by the First District Federal Court of Appeals. A Massachusetts public school teacher read a book King and King, about a prince that marries another price, to a SECOND GRADE class. When the parents asked the school district to allow them to take their child out of the class during the reading, the school district said NO. The parents sued. The court ruled that the parents had no right to prior notice that the teacher was going to read the book and no right to opt their child out of the class. This has got to stop. VOTE YES ON 8!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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