Hawaii Christian Group Taxed $20K for ‘Excessive Lobbying’ Against Civil Unions

The Hawaii Family Forum, a Christian charity, paid $20,741 in taxes for its "excessive lobbying" against civil unions last year, exceeding limits on political spending, the Star Advertiser reports:

Hawaii "The nonprofit group reported spending $125,695 on lobbying last year, a huge jump over the zero dollars it said it spent on lobbying in 2008. The change comes after at least two complaints were filed with the Internal Revenue Service about the forum's extensive political activities. 'This tax form just confirms what we had suspected, and that is that they engaged in excessive lobbying, that they have no charitable programs, that they are 100 percent a lobbying organization,' said Holly Huber, who filed a complaint with the IRS in June on behalf of Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of State and Church. 'They should not be a tax-exempt nonprofit charitable organization. They are a political action group.' Francis Oda, president of Hawaii Family Forum, and James Hochberg, an attorney for the nonprofit, did not return calls yesterday afternoon for comment on the tax return."


  1. Brian says

    Fantastic! This needs to keep going. Contributors to this organization need to be audited to make sure they didn’t use it as a tax deduction. This needs to be a nation wide campaign.

  2. Patric says

    A slap on the wrist. So they’ll have spent $145,000 instead of $125,000 to block equality. Their efforts succeeded in getting LCR favorite Linda Lingle to veto the bill. How could this possibly motivate them to alter their behavior? No doubt, when they have to do it all over again, they’ll adopt the same approach and circulate another fundraising letter to help them pay the next fine.

    On a related front, there’s a HUGE primary in Hawaii this Saturday. LGBT ally Neil Abercrombie goes up against homophobe Mufi Hannemann, an opponent of even civil unions, in the primary for the Dem nomination to replace Lingle. The winner will be the favorite against Lingle’s lieutenant gove, also a raving homophobe, in November. Hannemann is expected to have a well-funded GOTV effort.

    Remind all our Hawaiian friends to vote for our ally Neil Abercrombie on Saturday!!!!

  3. HawaiiBill says

    This was GREAT news to wake up to this morning. The fine is more symbolic, but it will be an effective symbol in our community. Oda and Hochberg are both ridiculously rich. What the article doesn’t mention (and he is usually very quiet about) is that Oda owns one of the largest architectural firms here in Honolulu and has been spreading his venom behind a veil of “Aloha” for years.

    Thanks also Patric for the cheerleading on our primary tomorrow. It’s been a nasty fight here, but the true Progressive, Neil Abercrombie, has a slight lead in the polls. Hanneman is one nasty thug and anything can happen. Gary Hooser, the state Senator that led the fight for civil unions is running in the top 3 for Lt. Governor. Both Abercrombie and Hooser are loud and proud proponents of full marriage equality.

    All GLBT people here know exactly what is at stake here, but call any and all of your friends in Hawaii and remind them to get out there and vote tomorrow! It’s going to be close…


  4. mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com says

    tax all organizations and myth factories (churches, temples, mosques, gathering huts, wiccan circles, whatever)

    They r all leaches of gov benefits without contributing to the maintance of millitary, police, fire, roads, post office, utilities etc

    1 issue that contributed to the fall of rome was the cessation of taxing places of worship when the state religion became xtianity thus bankrupting the government. prior to that all temples pre xtianity were taxed and contributed to the building of roman roads, aquaducts, infrastructre, etc

  5. Dave says

    I’m with you mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com, there is absolutely no constitutional right for churches to be tax-exempt. Their current status was a gift from LBJ to shut them up and to keep them out of politics. The fact that the can’t seem to keep their mouths shut and the hell out of our politics is all the more reason to repeal their gift from we the people.

  6. says

    Not only should religions tax-exempt status be revoked, but they should be banned along with any other businesses/corporations from sticking their feet into politics at all.


    But than again, I’ve been accused of living in a fantasy world.