Sunday, August 30, 2009

NOM Scrutinized: Maine and Iowa Pursue Ethics Complaints against National Organization for Marriage

I blogged several days ago about Californians Against Hate’s recent filing of an ethics complaint in Maine against the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). Californians Against Hate claims that, along with the Catholic diocese of Portland, NOM is circumventing laws that require full public disclosure of its funding sources in its battle to remove the right of marriage from gay citizens of Maine.

My posting notes that Californians Against Hate believes that NOM is a front group for the LDS church, and that it is laundering money to hide the extent of financial support coming directly from the Mormon church as NOM steps up the battle to remove the right of marriage from gay citizens of both Maine and Iowa. I also noted that NOM has not released its latest IRS 900 statements, though federal regulations require non-profits to do so, and several groups have made repeated requests to NOM for copies of those statements.

Since I last posted about these issues, Joe Sudbay at Americablog and Pam Spaulding at Pam’s House Blend are reporting (here and here) that both Maine’s Secretary of State and Iowa’s Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board are pursuing ethics complaints against NOM.

These postings link to a statement by Gerand Weinand at the Dirigo Blue blog about the Maine Ethics Commission’s response to the complaint filed by Californians Against Hate. Both also provide a link to a statement about the response of the Iowa ethics commission to complaints that NOM may be circumventing Iowa election laws through its activities in the campaign to remove the right of marriage from gay citizens there.

Both Joe Sudbay and Pam Spaulding also note the fluff piece by Monica Hesse that the Washington Post just published about NOM’s executive director Brian “Just a Regular Guy” Brown. Sad to say, this shoddy bit of special pleading by WaPo on behalf of a viciously homophobic organization doesn’t surprise me, considering how the paper chose to handle the recent ELCA assembly and its decision to open Lutheran ministry to gays in monogamous relationships.

We in the gay community and those who stand in solidarity with us seriously delude ourselves if we believe the mainstream media are on our side and intend to report fairly on injustices done to LGBT citizens. And we’re seriously deluded if we think that situation is going to change without intense pressure from us and our friends to call the mainstream media to accountability for their continued playing to the right in coverage of gay issues.