Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes and His Partner Sean Eldridge Give $100K to Maine’s Marriage Equality Campaign

MEFacebook co-founder Chris Hughes and his partner Sean Eldridge have made a $100,000 matching gift to Mainers United for Marriage, the group working to pass a ballot measure legalizing same-sex marriage there in November, the Bangor Daily News reports:

HughesMainers United for Marriage on Monday announced the fundraising challenge from Chris Hughes and his fiance, Sean Eldrige, president of Hudson River Ventures and senior adviser to Freedom to Marry. The campaign will have until June 7 to raise the matching funds.

“Voters in Maine have a historic opportunity to win marriage at the ballot [box] in November,” Eldridge said in a press release issued by the Maine campaign. “We are encouraged by strong statewide support for the initiative and the top-notch campaign team that’s in place, and we hope that our support will motivate others to invest in the campaign. With numerous marriage equality cases heading to the Supreme Court, there is nothing more important than growing momentum and winning the freedom to marry in more states.”

Fundraising efforts will include direct mail and email solicitations, phone calls and the use of social media, David Farmer, spokesman for the campaign, said Monday.

Visit Mainers United for Marriage HERE.

Hughes, a native North Carolinian, vocally opposed Amendment One, which recently constitutionally banned gay unions there, but notably made no financial contribution to Protect All NC Families, the campaign which was opposing it.

Polling thus far for Maine's ballot measure has been very good. A Maine People's Resource Center poll in early April showed that 58% of likely voters supported the marriage equality ballot measure.


  1. Brian says

    I think this could be money well spent. North Carolina was never going to happen, and we do need to break our unbroken losing streak. I’m never optimistic about these votes, but I guess I’m probably least pessimistic about the Maine vote, and would be great to interfere with the fundie talking point that every time americans vote, they vote against gay marriage.

  2. Chris says

    @Andrew: I agree. I think it was clear from the beginning that Amendment 1 was going to pass. I think he recognized that and decided his money was better spent elsewhere, like Maine.

  3. Mousie says

    Oh hey, here’s one of those high-powered gay business alpha types that Rick says don’t exist because he doesn’t know about them.

    I guess we can all move along now, since the challenge has been met.

  4. Bill says

    It’s going to lose. He wasted 100K. When Maine had the last ballot initiative the polls looked good at this stage. Heterosexuals are lying to pollsters. By November the numbers will flip.

  5. Ben in Oakland says

    I’m not going to be donati ng any money to anybody’s campaign until I see some evidence that they intend to run a winnnig campaign…

    which means, a campaign not based in the closet, one that actually shows us, our kids, our lives, and our churches, one that talks about why marriage is important for us, one with us speaking for us.

  6. says

    Why are so many Gay “activists” hell bent on pursuing strategies that assume the US Constitution doesn’t apply to LesBiGay citizens? It’s as if they agree with Barack Obama that States do have the right to regulate marriage. Do they agree with him?

    If this Maine ballot measure is successful (though the odds are against it, no matter what the “polling” says), all it will do is encourage both sides to mount these kinds of plebiscites in other States. Believe me, in the South and the Midwest, we will not have favorable poll numbers to crow about!

    A victory could also undermine the Federal case against plebiscites that Ted Olson and David Boies are currently litigating. And lest we forget, no ballot measure result is carved in stone; Fundies would pull out their heaviest artillery and work like the Devil to reverse a vote legalizing marriage equality.

    If putting minority group Civil Rights up for public vote is a legitimate thing to do, let’s just go all the way! Let’s repeal all the race-based legislation that came out of the Civil Rights movement, and decide by ballot whether or not we want to bring back segregation. Pundits would swear up and down that Jim Crow is gone for good, and few Americans would admit to wanting it resurrected; but I betcha we’d see then how incredibly unreliable opinion polls can be!

  7. John says

    Stuffed Animal, a little political maturity, please. You advocate putting all our eggs in one basket… putting our faith in a Supreme Court decision that will probably be against us. This is the Roberts court. And what then? We wait 20 years for the court to change in membership and only then do we challenge?

  8. R says


    the vote was very close last time, and every year minds are changed… while more bigots die off and more younger people, who predominantly support our rights, reach voting age.

    I’m never a fan of having our rights voted on, but the prospects for victory in Maine is as high as or higher than they’ve *ever* been, on any kind of a ballot.

    PS. You sound exactly like a bigot would on some rightwing blog, talking about how we have ‘no chance.’ Instead of being a self-defeatist, why not actually try to REACH OUT to people in Maine that you may know and make sure they vote and vote the right way on this issue, or donating some cash if you can’t do that. Even $5 will help. That’s enough to mail out 10-15 fliers, or print out 100 or more leaflets for people door knocking.

  9. R says

    Hughes, consistently engaging in the democratic process on behalf of issues important to him, is 100x more likeable than Saverin… who just abandoned America because a measly 15% capital gains tax rate, even though it’s about half of what his secretary probably pays.

  10. Brett says

    @Ben in Oakland:

    Please stop confusing a winning campaign with a campaign that would give you personal satisfaction. The be-all and end-all of a successful campaign is not whether it runs ads that depict gays and lesbians vs. family members of LGBs or respected public figures. What ad works depends upon the context and should be determined by well-established methods, such as focus groups. I’d remind you that the 2009 campaign very much included gays in its ads, including one of my favorites, an ad that focused on a kid named Sam Putnam and his 2 moms. The ad was great, but the get-out-the-vote effort was not, so we lost. The ad is not the campaign.

    This time, GOTV will be much less of an issue. They will do well. No poll in 2009 showed support at the levels we are seeing now and 2 of the recent good polls in ME come from organizations that have been extremely accurate (including PPP, which accurately called the result of the 2009 election). I think ME and WA represent the best opportunities we have ever had to win and you can even see recognition of this in some of the statements coming out of the other side. It would be a shame if any of us withheld support.

  11. says

    @Stuffed Animal,

    I agree with you. We are trying to play the game by the rules of our opponents. If they can put to popular vote the civil rights of gays and lesbians, what’s to stop them from doing the same to other minority groups?

    I would rather spend my contribution dollars on individual candidates for Congress who share my liberal values.

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