Remember that musical "Damn Yankees" where an aging Washington Senators baseball fan makes a Faustian bargain with the devil to become the young hero who wins the pennant against the Yankees? But there's an escape clause in the devil's bargain, and in the end, the devil fails to secure the fan's soul because he is madly in love with his wife. One bit of irony: the fan's younger self, who eschews "Lola" (Gwen Vernon) to remain true to his middle-aged wife, is played by closeted gay Hollywood star Tab Hunter. Not all marriages or Faustian bargains are what they seem.
And that brings us to the National Organization for Marriage, which is planning a major march on Washington featuring D-list extreme, lackluster speakers. This is the Catholic political group run by Brian Brown and Frank Schubert, who exported their Prop. 8 success to Maine, where they funded the 2009 ballot referendum to stop that state's new marriage equality law from taking effect. They used basically the same scary "what if" election tactics Schubert and his then-partner Jeff Flint made up for Prop. 8 - tactics the U.S. District Court found were based in animus towards gays when the court ruled Prop. 8 unconstitutional.
Technically, Schubert, whose sister is a lesbian, didn't violate any professional ethics since the American Association of Political Consultants, which gave Schubert an award for his Prop. 8 campaign, has a code against using "racism, sexism, religious intolerance or any form of unlawful discrimination" in political advertising. Homophobic is not included and - in that devilish way political hacks have in spinning the truth--same-sex marriage had not yet become lawful so the efforts to make it unlawful by NOM's political strategist Frank Schubert was not a violation of AAPC's professional code.
However, pursuant to a 2009 complaint filed by former political consultant and equal rights activist Fred Karger, the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices found NOM guilty of election fraud and fined the anti-LGBT group a record $50,250. A 37-page report of their investigation [pdf] found numerous lies about how Question 1, the referendum on the Nov. 3, 2009, ballot, was funded. NOM President appears to have also lied in sworn testimony before the Ethics Commission and his "Sworn on his Oath" affidavit. (See the agenda for the Maine Commission meeting and background materials here.)
"After nearly five years of NOM head Brian Brown and his army of lawyers fighting in state and federal court against the investigation, the verdict is in and NOM is guilty of election fraud," Karger said after the commission announced the fine. The commission found that, in order to disguise the names of donors, Brown directed contributors to make checks out to NOM, which would turn the money around for using by the campaign - an illegal practice commonly known as money laundering.