NOM, having exhausted nearly all legal options, has finally filed its list of donors whose contributions helped the anti-gay group fight a 2009 same-sex marriage campaign in Maine.
In 2009 the Maine state legislature passed a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry, and it was signed into law. Christian conservatives were furious, just months earlier having won marriage bans in California (Prop 8) and Florida.
NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, was still relatively new, but the anti-gay group went into action and campaigned heavily for the law to be placed before the people of Maine. It was, and voters overturned the legislation even before it had gone into effect.
That campaign against same-sex marriage cost NOM over $2 million, but the organization, headed at the time by Maggie Gallagher, refused to obey Maine election laws by filing its list of donors. For years, NOM has battled the State of Maine, and each time, NOM has lost.
Finally, the Supreme Court of the State of Maine, after an ethics committee fined the group $50,000, ordered them several weeks ago to hand over their list of donors.
Late Friday, NOM finally obeyed the court's order and filed the list.
What it reveals is stunning, but consistent with other revelations journalists have discovered about the formerly well-funded group.
A handful of donors contribute the vast, vast majority of NOM's funds.
One donor, Sean Fieler, a New York City resident who is also the chairman of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, donated over half the group's funds for the Maine fight: $1.25 million.
Other donors include the Knights of Columbus ($140,000), two out of state individuals who each gave $300,000, and only one Maine resident, who gave $50,000.
Fieler's Chiaroscuro Foundation claims if offers "the poor healthcare and educational opportunities that they need to thrive. We offer the saving grace of Jesus to all while defending everyone's unalienable right to exercise the religion of their own choosing."
It does not mention marriage, but on its website it states Fieler is also the Chairman of the American Principles Project, which was co-founded by NOM co-founder Robert P. George. Fieler is also a member of the board of Witherspoon Institute, which funded and directed the anti-gay parenting "study" by Mark Regnerus, which NCRM and many others have thoroughly debunked. Fieler is also on the board of the very anti-gay Manhattan Institute, which calls for anarchy in the face of government supported civil rights, including same-sex marriage and abortion.
UPDATE I: 2:09 PM EDT -
"The crooks & liars at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) got caught money laundering $2 million in the Maine gay marriage election," Fred Karger, one of NOM's greatest critics, told NCRM exclusively via an email conversation. "I am honored to have filed the original complaint against NOM nearly six years ago and traveled to Augusta four times to testify against NOM before the Maine Ethics Commission."
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.
Image: Screenshot via UStream/NOM
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