National

Anti-gay group funded almost entirely by two people

More than two-thirds of the funding for the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage comes from just two individual donors who contributed more than $6 million, according to recently released 2010 financial data. The report also shows that 92 percent of its funding comes from 22 people who made donations of $5,000 or more. No names were attached to the donation amounts.

While NOM claims to represent a Christian majority, the recent report is hauntingly contradictory. And the trend shows fewer and fewer small donations to the cause. In 2009, NOM’s contributors of $5,000 and more made up 78 percent of total donations. The nature of NOM’s structure has critics laughing at its self-description of a “grassroots organization.”

NOM has fought to keep hidden its financial donors, claiming gays and lesbians would seek to harm those who donate to their cause. Most recently, NOM has tried to defy campaign finance laws and hide donor identities to an anti-marriage equality campaign in Minnesota.

NOM reported spending large portions of its budget on advertising and promotion ($3 million); employee wages, benefits, and taxes ($1.2 million); and on grants and assistance to other organizations ($600,000).

However, the largest portion – $4 million, about 38 percent of NOM’s expenditures, was classified on the tax form as “other.”

The form describes “Other Expenditures” this way: “The Organization developed and distributed via radio, television, mail, email, telephone, and the world-wide web, a series of advertising and outreach promoting traditional marriage.”

The organization reported a 17-member staff and no volunteers. Only four are listed as being paid: president Brian Brown ($212,500), then-board chair Gallagher ($152,500), treasurer Corkery ($25,000) and Jennifer Morse ($116,667). Morse is the founder and president of the Ruth Institute, a project of NOM’s education fund.

In a July newsletter, NOM claimed to have more than 50,000 individual donors. The tax forms show this is a gross misrepresentation.

The top five contributions to the National Organization for Marriage, Inc.:

  1. $3,416,000
  2. $2,940,000
  3. $750,000
  4. $600,000
  5. $400,000

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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