A group campaigning against gay marriage in Maine is to have its finances investigated over accusations of fraud.

The Maine Ethics Commission voted 3-2 yesterday in favour of opening an investigation into whether Stand for Marriage Maine has violated campaign finance laws.

Californians Against Hate founder Fred Karger has alleged the group is illegally refusing to identify its donors.

Stand for Marriage Maine is part of the larger National Organisation for Marriage (NOM).

NOM came to prominence during the campaign for gay marriage in California, when it pumped millions of dollars into opposing the equal right.

Gay rights advocates have accused the group of accepting large donations from Mormon groups.
Karger said that an initial financial disclosure from NOM listed contributions from individual donors at $400 out of a total of $343,689.50.

He told On Top Magazine: “They are trying to toss out all reporting requirements . . . so the [Mormon] Church and its members can continue to operate in secrecy.

“Well, Maine is joining California as the second state that will be investigating NOM’s highly questionable finances.”

Stand for Marriage Maine chairman Marc Mutty said the investigation was “harassment” and “an abuse of power”.