Millions poured into battle over Proposition 8

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Out-of-state money has been flooding in either side of the Proposition 8 debate in California.

Supporters of the effort to ban same-sex marriage already have taken in more than $1.2 million from out-of-state contributors for the fall campaign.

Conversely, supporters of same-sex marriage are trumping up funds to oppose the Proposition 8 bill.

Bruce Bastian of Utah signed a $1 million (£536,595.15) cheque at a San Francisco dinner last Saturday.

Even before Bastian, a co-founder of the WordPerfect software company, opened his cheque book, gay and lesbian rights groups and their supporters from around the country had put more than $1.3 million into the fight against the ballot initiative.

The Human Rights Campaign, which works for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights out of its Washington headquarters, has raised more than $570,000 for the fight against Prop. 8.

Another Washington group, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, has given $200,000.

David Maltz, a Cleveland businessman, has donated $500,000 to the effort.

“This is a campaign that’s important to the entire country, not just California,” said Brad Luna, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, sponsor of the fundraising dinner that brought more than 750 people to the St. Francis Hotel on Saturday.

“The result will have effects across the United States”, he added.

When the state Supreme Court overturned Proposition 22’s ban on same-sex unions, it opened the way for “nationwide legal chaos” and allowed gay rights groups “to force their radical redefinition of marriage upon the nation,” according to a statement from the California Family Council, one of the supporters of Proposition 8.

Pro-Propostion 8 donators have been proffering aid in super-sized chunks.

Focus on the Family, a Colorado Springs group headed by James Dobson, has given more than $400,000 to the Prop. 8 campaign.

The American Family Association, out of Tupelo, Miss., has contributed $500,000. The Knights of Columbus, a national Catholic men’s organization headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut, has put $250,000 into the campaign.

Proposition 8 is an initiative measure on the 2008 California General Election ballot that, if passed, would amend the state Constitution to “eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry.”