Yesterday, we reported that the Human Rights Campaign had filed a complaint with the IRS to compel the National Organization for Marriage to publicly release financial documents related to its political advocacy spending in 2012. With the reports now published and viewable on their site as a result of the complaint, it appears NOM may have been hiding the information because of the revelation that the organization found itself more than $2.7 million in the red as a result of its political advocacy arm's spending. You'll recall 2012 being a disappointing year for gay marriage opponents, with pro-equality victories in four of the five same-sex marriage ballot measures by year's end. Buzzfeed breaks down more of the reports' findings:
The organization raised nearly $14.5 million in contributions, with the bulk of it - more than $9.4 million - going to the political advocacy arm. The advocacy arm also reported receiving more than $1.6 million in reimbursement of expenses.
Although the names of the donors are redacted, the largest donor to NOM was a person who gave the organization's political advocacy arm more than $2.6 million. Another donor gave $1.9 million to the political advocacy arm, while a third game $1.5 million.
The second largest donor to the organization gave $2 million to the educational arm, while another gave a little more than $1 million.
The political advocacy arm - a 501(c)(4) organization - reported more than $13 million in expenses, with the education arm - a 501(c)(3) organization - reporting a little less than $3.5 million in expenses.
The organization contributed more than $1 million to the ballot referendum campaigns in Maryland and Washington, as well as to the campaign for a marriage amendment in Minnesota. The organization gave more than $1 million to the "NOM ME Fund," presumably its contribution to fighting the Maine marriage equality initiative.
NOM's sole 2012 ballot victory occurred in May, when North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is once again illegally withholding key financial tax documents from the public, HRC reports:
Federal law requires organizations to publicly release their 990s the same day an in-person request is made. As a result, HRC has filed a complaint with the IRS in order to compel NOM to abide by the law.
“NOM’s inability to meet one of the most basic accounting standards for any organization makes you wonder what exactly is going on – are they simply demonstrating the same flagrant disregard they have for numerous state campaign finance laws, or is there something in these documents that reflects even more poorly on the organization and their failed work?” said Fred Sainz, HRC Vice President of Communications. “Brian Brown apparently had enough time on Friday to pull together a fundraising email feigning outrage at the marriage equality victory in Hawaii, but didn’t have time to ensure his organization was running in accordance with the law. NOM should do the right thing and immediately release these financial documents that the public has a right to see.”
According to NOM’s 2011 990s, obtained by HRC last year, the anti-LGBT organization raised only $6.2 million, a precipitous drop from the $9.1 million it raised in 2010. The documents also revealed that nearly 75 percent of NOM’s fundraising came from just two deep-pocketed donors.
What are they hiding this year?
'Citizens Filibuster' Continues as Thousands Testify at Hawaii Marriage Equality Bill Hearing: VIDEO
Thousands of anti-gay religious folk continue to testify before the Hawaii House of Representatives in its special legislative session to address a marriage equality bill, including NOM Chairman John Eastman (above).
AzBlueMeanie sums up where we're at as of last night:
Public testimony continued in the Hawaii House until 11:00 p.m. Saturday night. The hearing will resume on Monday, November 4, at 11:00 a.m. in the Capitol Auditorium. Monday’s hearing will continue to be broadcast live by Capitol TV and on Olelo Channel 53.
Religious groups opposed to marriage equality are attempting a "citizens filibuster," similar to what pro-choice advocates attempted in the state of Texas earlier this year: thousands have signed up to testify in an attempt to run out the clock by talking the bill to death in the time scheduled for the Special Session.
And Hawaii News Now adds:
More than 13 hours after House Representatives first sat down for public testimony on the same-sex marriage bill -- they're still going, and with no end in sight.
Nearly 5,000 people have signed up to testify on SB 1, the "Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013". It's unclear how many people actually addressed lawmakers because around 9 p.m. Thursday the hearing started moving along quickly as legislators called upon numbers and no people stepped up.
Hours before the hearing even began, the line to testify was already wrapping around the auditorium. At 9 a.m, more than 15,000 pages of written testimony were submitted and House officials say it continues to pour in.
The Hawaii House appears to be looking to Connecticut as a model:
The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the state's marriage and civil unions laws violated equal protection because gay couples were denied the ability to marry, becoming the third state, after Massachusetts and California, to legalize gay marriage. Connecticut approved a law in 2009 implementing the court's ruling while adding a broad exemption to deal with religious liberty.
Watch NOM Chairman John Eastman deliver his one-minute diatribe, AFTER THE JUMP...
Adding more to the mounting pile of evidence that the National Organization for Marriage can't achieve their goals without breaking the law, LGBT activist Fred Karger (pictured, below) issued an 11-page report detailing the illegal activities of NOM and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the state of Hawaii.
Primary among the complaints are that the Mormon Church is refusing to register their paid employees who are lobbying Hawaii Legislators, and BYU Hawaii President Steven C. Wheelwright, who donated almost a quarter of a million dollars in support of California's Proposition 8, is thought to be one of the most prominent unregistered lobbyists.
Meanwhile, NOM has failed to register for grassroots lobbying prior to their massive television ad campaign, an activity that most certainly exceeds Hawaii's definition of a lobbyist as someone who is "either spending five hours of their time in a month or $750 of their means."
A PDF of Karger's very detailed letter can be found here: Download Hawaii Ethics Commission Letter.
NOM founder Maggie Gallagher is alarmed over the idea that the GOP might be considering a "truce" on social issues like abortion and LGBT rights and spoke with radio host Steve Deace about it on Wednesday night, Right Wing Watch reports.
Said Gallagher: "The truce strategy is the stupidest of all possible strategies...The money right now in the Republican party is being conditioned on adopting a suicidal political strategy."