Yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage issued a press release calling for a federal investigation of the Human Rights Campaign and the Internal Revenue Service. This follows the publication last week of a portion of NOM’s 2008 tax return (PDF) provided to the Human Rights Campaign by a whistleblower. The document lists dozens of major donors from that year. NOM president Brian Brown now claims: “It’s clear that the tax return was stolen, either from NOM or from the government.”
While the majority of media attention has been focused on a $10,000 donation by Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America political action committee, much greater contributions were made by a number of other donors. The largest donation on the list was $450,000 from John Templeton, president of the John Templeton Foundation. The foundation is best known for its grants to scientists whose research supposedly demonstrates the compatibility of science and religious belief, and it’s been criticized for blurring the lines between science and religion. Another $100,000 was given by Josephine Templeton. John Templeton also donated $1.1 million to pass Proposition 8 in California.
$250,000 came from the Knights of Columbus, an organization for Catholic men which also gave $1.4 million to pass Proposition 8. An additional $25,000 came from the California State Council Knights of Columbus. $172,500 was donated by Terry Caster, the chairman of Caster Companies, which owns A-1 Self Storage. Another $83,700 was given by other members of the Caster family. The Caster family also donated nearly $700,000 to pass Proposition 8. $150,000 came from Michael Casey, president of the Delivery from Heaven Foundation in Rhode Island, whose purpose is “to make contributions to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations”. And $100,000 was given by Sean Fieler, chairman of NOM’s American Principles Project, which campaigned to keep the Guantanamo prison open.
These are only a handful of NOM’s donors, yet this one document dating from 2008 has them calling for a federal investigation. This is what they don’t want us to see: the people and organizations enabling them to take away the rights of American citizens. NOM and their donors wanted to deny us our equality with no accountability whatsoever, and increasingly, it looks like that’s not going to be so easy. So far, this hasn’t been a very good year for NOM. Let’s hope there’s a lot more where that came from.