Church lobbying effective in NJ same-sex marriage debate

TRENTON, N.J. -- Even before the final vote tally, backers of a same-sex marriage bill in the New Jersey Senate knew it would fall short, cosponsor Sen. Loretta Weingberg, D-Teaneck, said following the Jan. 7 vote.

The bill needed 21 votes to pass; it garnered only 14, with a lone Republican supporter. Twenty senators voted against the measure, including six Democrats.

Dioceses major contributors to repeal same-sex marriage

Gathering money from 50 U.S. dioceses, the Portland, Maine, diocese contributed more than $550,000 to the campaign to rejected Maine's law extending civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples, according to financial records filed with the state agency that tracks political contributions.

In the Nov. 3 referendum, Maine voters rejected 53 to 47 percent the same-sex marriage law.

Victory over same-sex marriage comes at high price


PORTLAND, MAINE — After a campaign that saw significant Catholic activism on both sides of the issue, Maine voters rejected a law that would have allowed same-sex marriages.

Fifty-three percent of voters said yes to overturning a law passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor in May.

But in Washington state, it appeared that a referendum to uphold a law granting same-sex domestic partners the same rights as married spouses would be narrowly approved, 51 percent to 49 percent. The referendum had been opposed by Washington's Catholic bishops.

Gay marriage supporter removed from ministries

One Catholic in Maine has paid a heavy price for supporting same-sex marriage.

Pamella Starbird Beliveau of Lewiston, Maine, was removed as a lector and Eucharistic Minister after her pastor read an opinion piece she wrote for the local newspaper approving of same-sex marriage.