10/02/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
The National Organization for Marriage is going to have to try again, apparently, since a federal judge in Rhode Island has tossed out their lawsuit aimed at letting them protect their donor lists. They are supporting Rhode Island Republican gubernatorial candidate John Robitaille, a strong opponent of same-sex marriage. NOM wanted to be able to run ads without having to report its expenditures or comply with any other campaign finance laws. It is part of their ruthless campaign to try and deny lesbians, gays and transpeople the same rights as heterosexual, cisgender Americans.
Kevin Nix, the director of the Human Rights Campaign’s NOM Project, stated “NOM is boldly trying to circumvent campaign disclosure laws in a number of states. They have so far failed in Rhode Island as they have elsewhere. Federal and state officials around the country should sit up and take notice of this fringe group’s shadowy financing and questionable ethics.”
Unfortunately, this is not over. Judge Mary M. Lisi gave NOM one week to refile because she dismissed the suit on the grounds that it violated federal litigation rules. She stated that the court found “the factual allegations in the complaint are buried in … conclusory and argumentative passages.” Also that it “places an unjustified burden on the court and the [state] to resond to it because they are forced to ferret out the relevant material from a mass of verbiage.”
This is a common strategy on behalf of NOM and others who seek to hide their donor lists and their activities largely because they want to hide where their marching orders are coming from and they fear backlash against them. Like Vermont, Rhode Island requires that an outside organization no coordinate with the local campaign on messages and these groups have to be open about their donors and expenditures. NOM has stated that they were going to be using radio, television, direct mail, and internet advertisements in order to support their anti-LGBT platform, and support John Robitaille.
Currently, NOM is fighting campaign finance laws in New York, Washington, California and Maine. They are under investigation in Maine for not releasing their donor lists.
NOM has a long standing relationship with the Mormon and Catholic churches. This is something that they want to keep secret since this could, first of all, endanger the tax status of these churches, but also cause a major backlash among evangelicals who believe that both Mormonism and Catholicism are cults and not Christianity.