The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM) has accused the Obama administration of leaking its
confidential tax return.
Last year, the Human Rights Campaign
(HRC), the nation's largest LGBT advocate, posted a redacted version
of the group's Form 990.
Appearing on Fox News, NOM President
Brian Brown appeared to suggest that the IRS acted in concert with
“[T]his was given to our political
opponents, the head of the Human Rights Campaign was a co-chair for
President Obama's re-election campaign,” Brown said. “We need
Congress to move forward, we need a thorough investigation, and we
need to know for certain if this goes, to see how high this goes. It
is not at all encouraging that, again, this was given to a co-chair
of President Obama's re-election campaign. That's just wrong.”
NOM Chairman John Eastman repeated the
suggestion in a USA
“[T]he release of NOM's confidential
data to a group headed by an Obama campaign co-chair suggests the
possibility of complicity at the highest levels of politics and
government,” he wrote. “This wasn't a low-level error in
judgment; it was a conscious act to reward a prominent Obama
supporter while punishing an opponent.”
Matters noted that the group had previously concluded that the
leak had been an accident.
“You may recall that a low-level
employee also released NOM's private tax-return information to a guy
claiming to be a NOM employee, who then posted it on the Internet,”
former chairwoman Maggie Gallagher on May 10.
Eastman was among those testifying
before the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday about their
mistreatment by the IRS.
At the prodding of Rep. Tom Price, a
Republican from Georgia, Eastman told the committee that its donors
had to be kept secret to avoid reprisals.
“Beginning at Proposition 8, people's
names were disclosed as donors, their businesses were boycotted,”
Eastman testified. “If there was an employee at a business, that
business was boycotted. They were harassed, they were assaulted on
the streets, they were vandalized in their property. And this has
now pervaded across the nation. Every time our donor list gets
disclosed to the point where donors tell us, 'We are fearful of
giving money to you to help support the cause we believe in because
our businesses and our families are at risk.'”
Eastman scolded Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a
Democrat from Oregon, for saying that NOM's advocacy against marriage
equality does not amount to “social welfare.”
“The notion that defending
traditional marriage doesn't qualify as a defense of the public good
is beyond preposterous,” Eastman blustered.
In a Huffington
Post op-ed, Blumenauer backed up his claims.
“To Dr. Eastman, I say that it is the
denial of my constituents, and all Americans, the right to marry the
person that they love that is preposterous. To exploit racial and
religious differences so you can fund raise for and enforce your
specific worldview is preposterous,” he wrote.
“But your right to be preposterous
should not extend to taking political positions under the guise of a
social welfare organization, raising money and campaigning.”