NOM

Iowa Decides Complaint Against NOM: Gay Marriage; Fred Karger


 

Iowa Decides Complaint Against NOM: Gay Marriage

I’m on the Rights Equal Rights mailing list, and this came earlier today. This is being spearheaded by Fred Karger (above right), former Presidential candidate, first openly gay man to run for President of the US in US history, and gay rights activist Republican. I’ve posted about him many times. You can do a search above. Although gay marriage is legal in Iowa, NOM worked hard to block this. And, more important, there are still millions of gay couples in the US (me) who are not legally allowed to marry, and NOM would like to block that, too, if possible.

From my inbox:

DES MOINES, IOWA — Our request for an investigation by the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board is moving forward. On Thursday, August 8th at 12:00 noon, the full Board will be voting on whether it will act on my complaint that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has once again broken the law by refusing to report its donor’s names in two Iowa statewide elections. The Des Moines Register had a big story on Friday by Jennifer Jacobs (full story below, or CLICK HERE).

NOM funded and ran both Iowa Supreme Court Judicial Confirmation Elections in 2010 and 2012. In 2010 NOM spent $635,000 and in 2012 NOM spent upwards of $100,000. NOM never reported its donor’s names as required by state election law. We are working with the prestigious Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines, and are optimistic that the August 8th hearing will open the door to a third state ethics investigation of NOM. I will be going to Des Moines to testify before the Commission.

The complaints that I filed in Maine and California against NOM have led to long and fruitful ongoing investigations by both state ethics’ offices. 

For more, here’s a full article on what Karger has been doing. Karger has been fighting to expose NOM by asking for investigations. He goes about this by filing complaints against NOM based on alleged state violations with respect to full disclosure of who contributed money toward the fight against gay marriage. I know all this gets complicated, but it really is important from a legal (and ethical) standpoint, and Karger has been relentless in going after NOM in what seems to be one of their weakest links, so to speak.

The National Organization for Marriage opposes same-sex marriage and worked to persuade Iowans not to retain justices who authored a 2009 ruling that made gay marriage legal here. Karger, who is openly gay, supports same-sex marriage. He intends to be in Iowa for the ethics board meeting.

The board will decide whether Karger’s complaint is “legally sufficient,” said Megan Tooker, the board’s executive director. If the answer is yes, it will order an investigation. If the answer is no, the board will dismiss the complaint.

How this turns out is anyone’s guess, however, it’s nice to see someone…anyone…going after NOM this way just to let them know we’re not going to take it. This isn’t something you will hear in the LGBT community, or on Fox News. It’s a new brand of politics I think might just catch on with younger people who have been so highly disappointed in the past decade with all politicians.

How NOM Works Against Marriage Equality by Fred Karger

I was going to share this FB post about how NOM (National Organization for Marriage) works against marriage equality in a Huff Po piece written by former Presidential candidate, Fred Karger, but then decided to post it here on the blog because I’d like it to get more exposure. And I don’t want it getting mixed up with so many stupid facebook political status updates by ill-informed people who can’t seem to focus on anything other than slamming political candidates in one direction or the other. We get it: you don’t like Obama. We get it: you don’t like Romney. But stop putting it in our faces. Go tell someone who cares and start doing something positive for a change.

But I digress (smile). I’m focused on a few issues, and marriage quality is one of them. In the article to which I’m linking Karger goes into detail about how NOM actually hinders marriage equality, and with a great deal of money.

The LGBT community and everyone who cares about fairness and equality face four crucial votes next Tuesday in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington State. All four elections are the doing of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

NOM has an unlimited amount of money at its disposal and is hell-bent on hurting millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans every conceivable way possible, especially at the ballot box.

In 2009 the Maine State Legislature passed and the Governor signed a historic bill allowing marriage equality in the Pine Tree State. On the first day possible NOM hired professional signature gatherers to qualify a referendum to repeal it. NOM was successful.

I’m not going to elaborate on this because Karger did a better job than I could ever do. If you care about marriage equality, I suggest you read the article in full. And feel free to share it. It’s a lot more positive than sharing touched up photos of Donald Trump’s hair flying around in the wind.

Fred Karger Files Charges Against Anti-Gay Marriage Group

I post these things primarily because most people aren’t going to read about them or hear about them in the mainstream. Evidently, Fred Karger, an openly gay man who ran on the Republican ticket for President this year, is seeking the names of private donors who have been helping to fund a private anti-gay marriage group called The National Organization for Marriage….NOM.

Yes, you heard that correctly. Karger is openly gay, a Republican, he supports gay marriage, and he ran for President. Will wonders ever cease. Pardon my sarcasm, but let’s face it. The only thing we hear about these days with regard to equal rights is what’s posted on the Internet by small groups with good intentions. Or small blogs like mine that average about 1,000 hits a day. You don’t see anyone else talking about it, not Democrat or Republican.

In any event, this is what Karger wants:

Fred Karger, a California-based gay-rights activist and unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate, has sent a letter to U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby asking him to find NOM in contempt of court for failing to disclose individual donors in the current election cycle, as possibly required by recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the case.

Karger also sent letters to the American Bar Association and its state-level counterparts in Maine, California and South Dakota asking that NOM chairman John Charles Eastman, a constitutional lawyer and law professor, be disciplined for the same reason.

This is why he might not get what he wants:

NOM maintains this year’s contribution came entirely from its general treasury. Under Maine law, the organization is not required to disclose the sources of such donations, provided the funds were not solicited for a specific political purpose.

The federal court rulings have “not required that NOM disclose donors to its general treasury, any more than the Supreme Court and other courts have required disclosure of donors to the ACLU or Human Rights Campaign, which are supporting Question 1,” Eastman said in a statement earlier this month.

“NOM is in absolute compliance,” says Carroll Conley Jr., co-chairman of Protect Marriage Maine, which received the organization’s $250,000 donation. “The Supreme Court did not require them to reveal the names of their donors who gave to their general fund.”

You can read more here.

I recommend reading the entire article because it gets more complicated than this. It’s been alleged that NOM is not in full compliance. But there’s an ongoing investigation to determine this.

At least Karger is doing SOMETHING. Because no one else in the LGBT political landscape seems to be doing a single thing to help advance same sex marriage and equal rights.