Total Pledge of $500,000 to Support Local Equality Efforts Aimed at Raising $1 Million
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced challenge grants to support marriage equality campaigns in Maine, Minnesota and Washington. The Mayor pledged $250,000 to Washington United for Marriage, $125,000 to Mainers United for Marriage and $125,000 to Minnesotans United for All Families. The pledges will help each group raise additional money by matching new contributions made in the homestretch of the campaign. If the challenge is successful, it will raise $1 million for the cause of marriage equality in the three states.
“Government has no business denying marriage licenses to a whole class of couples in Maine, Minnesota, Washington or anywhere else,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The 14th Amendment guarantees us all equal protection under the law, and marriage equality is the next big step in America’s long march of freedom. The barriers to it are bound to fall; the question is not if but when. I was proud to help support the successful effort to achieve marriage equality in New York State, and I’m proud to stand with supporters of marriage equality around the country this November.”
Mainers United for Marriage is a coalition supporting Question 1 on Maine ballot, which would allow the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if passed. A citizens’ campaign generated enough signatures, submitted to the Secretary of State, to place Question 1 on the ballot. For more on the coalition in Maine, visit: www.mainersunited.org.
Minnesotans United for All Families is a coalition working to defeat a constitutional amendment in Minnesota that reads: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in Minnesota?” Minnesota State Legislature voted to place the amendment on the ballot. The coalition already has raised $125,000 to match the Mayor’s challenge. For more on the coalition in Minnesota, visit: www.mnunited.org.
Washington United for Marriage is a coalition working to pass Referendum 74, which would ratify a bill passed earlier this year and signed by Governor Christine Gregoire legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. For more on the coalition in Washington, visit: www.washingtonunitedformarriage.org.
Last week, Mayor Bloomberg announced the formation of a new major effort to support candidates and referenda in local, state and federal races across the country. The campaign will target candidates who support – and oppose – efforts to crack down on illegal guns and reform education policy. It will also make contributions to marriage equality referenda. Through election day, the Mayor will be backing an eight figure campaign that will support moderates on both sides of the aisle – as well as independents – who have shown a willingness to work in a bi-partisan fashion.
Earlier this month, the Mayor announced a $250,000 contribution to Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a group that supports passage of a referendum that would ratify a state law legalizing same-sex marriage. The Mayor will join Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley this Friday at an event in Baltimore to support the effort.
Mayor Bloomberg's support for candidates and causes is his largest effort yet to impact races and referenda across the country. The mayor has a long history of supporting candidates and referenda that reflect his independent and non-partisan approach to government.