Hey, remember all the frustration voiced in the wake of Prop 8’s passing, when folks talked about how much of its support came from people who didn’t even live in California? Maine’s the next battleground for the right to marry, and the “out of town support” argument’s apparently rising again — this time, by a group that’s paying a San Francisco based company over half a million dollars to in an effort to take that right away. That’s right, this time, the call’s coming from inside the house.

The most recent email sent by Marc Mutty, Chairman of Stand For Marriage Maine (so we’re clear, the only marriages he’s standing for are the male-female kind, not the rest of ’em), complains that the opposition to the marriage ban now on the ballot in Maine comes from “mostly from the gay activist political elite from all corners of the nation, including Hollywood, Colorado, New York, Massachusetts” (you can read his whole email here).

Mutty’s group displays a different attitude when it comes to sending money out of state. In the filings, released yesterday, from Stand For Marriage Maine, the “Expenditures to support or oppose” section contains this entry:


This company is listed 4 more times in that section, and has been paid nearly $360K. They’re also listed 12 more times in the “unpaid debts” section, billing about $240K more. So, so far they stand to make at least $600,000 off the deal. Coincidentally, this is just slightly higher than the extra tax burden shouldered by many gay couples due to discriminatory tax penalties.

So, what’s this company at 58 Maiden Lane, Second Floor? (In researching this piece, one employee of a PR agency told the Appeal “They better move their offices, you can’t get much faggier than Maiden Lane”) It’s been reported that the company in question is Criswell Associates, listen on Linkedin as “a small, fully independent integrated marketing communications company.”

We called Criswell associates to verify that they are, indeed, the company referred to as MAR/COM Services in that filing. The person who answered the phone said no one was available to speak to us, as they were “traveling for business.” We left a message, and will update you when we hear back.

Unlike many of our respected friends in the San Francisco news space, The San Francisco Appeal does not practice advocacy journalism. We have no dogs in fights, and do our best to report as objectively as we can without being totally boring and cheesy. However, we are, indeed “anti Prop-8 cheerleaders.” This is because we are not fucking bigots.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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