05/21/2013 12:36 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

National Organization for Marriage Takes On the IRS: Whom Are They Trying to Protect?

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is under investigation in Maine and California for possible election fraud and money laundering, because NOM refused to obey those states' election laws and report its donors.

The Maine investigation has been going on for nearly four years. Why so long? NOM sued Maine election officials in 2009. NOM took its case all the way to the United States Supreme Court to avoid playing by the rules after it contributed $1.9 million to overturn Maine's gay marriage law. Gay marriage was passed that year by both houses of the legislature and signed into law by the governor.

In 2008 NOM raised nearly all the money to qualify California's Proposition 8 for the ballot. It later became the largest donor to pass Prop 8. We now know that NOM raised an additional $345,000 in 2008 that it never reported to the California Secretary of State, including $10,000 from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is investigating NOM for attempting to hide Romney's contribution and 10 more major donor names in that election. NOM sued all California election officials to avoid transparency in that state too and lost.

NOM leaders Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher and its attorney John Eastman don't mind lying, repeatedly breaking election laws and demonizing gay people, so I guess it makes sense that they want to protect their major donors like Mitt Romney from dishonor even if it means that they all might go to jail.


Now NOM president Brian Brown is mad as hell at the IRS and is seizing on unrelated IRS troubles to lambast the agency and even went so far as to get Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to do NOM's bidding in his opening round of questions last week to former IRS Acting Director Steve Miller. Instead of trying to get to the bottom of why the IRS was giving extra scrutiny to tea party groups, Rep. Camp brought up NOM's ridiculous claim that the IRS actually helped get NOM's secret donors into the public eye. This was after NOM announced that it was filing yet another frivolous lawsuit, this time against the IRS.

Just Whom Is NOM Trying to Protect?

In 2007 and 2008, its first two years of existence, NOM never bothered to file any tax returns with the IRS. Its leaders think that they are above the law. Several people and I filed multiple complaints with the IRS to investigate NOM for this. Each subsequent year, NOM has either been late or filed at least two extensions on its tax returns. NOM is clearly trying to keep all its financial information secret. This is illegal if you are a 501(c)(3) or a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization like NOM.

NOM Will Stop at Nothing

Not only are there serious legal and tax issues with NOM, but thanks to the lawsuits that NOM filed in Maine, the Maine attorney general's office was able to subpoena its records and campaign plan, "Winning the Marriage Battle," which detail the dirty, nasty and underhanded way that NOM operates. These are posted on our website, Rights Equal Rights.

Judge H. Brock Hornby, the federal judge in the NOM case in Maine, unsealed four of these documents a year ago, and the world was shocked to see the slimy way that NOM operates. Here are just a few items from NOM's "confidential" documents (emphasis, in italics, is mine):

  1. NOM tried to drive a wedge between gay marriage supporters and the black community:

    Ultimately we aim to raise the costs of identifying with gay marriage, and also raise the attractiveness of identifying with traditional marriage. But we also need to accomplish a sophisticated cultural objective: interrupt the attempt to equate gay with black, and sexual orientation with race. We need to make traditional sexual morality intellectually respectable again in elite culture. The strategic goal ... is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks -- two key Democratic constituencies.

    They tried this by hiring several apparently "for-sale" black ministers like Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md.
  2. NOM tried to turn the Latino community against gay marriage in this country:

    We can interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity. ... Our ultimate goal is to make opposition to gay marriage an identity marker, a badge of youth rebellion to conformist assimilation to the bad side of "Anglo" culture.

  3. NOM secretly planned to take its campaign of hate and bigotry global:

    We have learned much about how to win the marriage battle. ... What we need now is to find the resources to prosecute and expand this strategy to win marriage in the U.S., and expand it into a global movement.

NOM's Watchdog

I have been closely following the National Organization for Marriage since it was formed over five years ago. I filed both sworn complaints that led to the Maine and California investigations. I have written numerous columns about NOM's horrific misdeeds. I have continually called for a congressional investigation into its funding sources and refusal to file its annual tax returns. I have repeatedly challenged founders Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown on their lies and deceit in fighting gay marriage all over the country. I called them out for the hateful "Marriage Pledge" that NOM urged all Republican presidential candidates to sign. Those who didn't sign the pledge, like former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), were brutalized with millions of dollars in attack ads in the early caucus and primary states.

We will not rest until NOM and its leaders cease and desist or end up in jail, where they most likely belong.