Protecting Maine's anti-discrimination-against-gays law cost the two sides about $1.5 million, according to the papers they filed with the state. Unless you sell advertising slots in media, that seems money down the sewer, money that could have served a good purpose.
On the other hand, it is small beer in ballot questions, even by Maine standards. The folk hassling over tax caps combined for twice that a year ago. Also, the very interested parties driving the Southern Maine casino question spent over $10 million in 2003.
On the plus side, there will be the conversational value over the long winter and quite a few self-writing sermons at fundy churches.
The Maine Won't Discriminate side collected and spent about three times that of the Dark Side, lead by the ironically named Christian Civil League of Maine's Coalition for Marriage and the Maine Grassroots Coalition. MWD put in about $1.1 million and the others about $412,000.
Now the losers get to claim it was just money talking (with no mention of why people in and out of state would rather donate to equal rights rather than freedom to discriminate). They can do a Red Sox fan thing – if only the Yankees hadn't outspent them...there's next year.
The CCL is off to Augusta, peering at teen lingerie models in store windows, offended this time at heterosexual activity. There'll be lots of cold days to say what if about the last campaign.
Back in the Bay State, we can't get too upset now about the cost of the pending anti-same-sex-marriage amendment fights. These may well drag over two years and cost many millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of otherwise productive labor hours. That is a hate tax that returns again and again for more.
Like Maine, at the end we'll be able to calculate how much was wasted to fight efforts to discriminate in the name of morality. It's not going to speak well of the ballot initiative process or of those misusing it here and now.