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Tit for tat? NOM and HRC go after each other

WASHINGTON – Anti-gay hate group the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is sounding more and more desperate as it loses state after state to marriage equality and loses court cases for doing business by breaking the law.

On Thursday, NOM president Brian Brown emailed supporters, crowing that the hate group had filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service. Brown wrote:

NOM filed suit against the IRS over the leak of our confidential tax documents from their offices and to discover how these documents got into the hands of our chief political opponent, the Human Rights Campaign in March 2012.

It's a felony to release or receive confidential tax returns. NOM's case has garnered a lot of attention throughout the course of this year — especially following our chairman Professor John Eastman's explosive testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee this past June. We have been working hard to make sure that not only our rights, but every American's rights, to freedom of speech and association are protected as they should be.

Unfortunately, despite our efforts and the efforts of several members of Congress, the IRS and Obama Administration continue to every request to get to the bottom of this crime and hold accountable to the American people those responsible for this deed. That's why our lawsuit is so important, not only for our case, but for anyone who has been harassed and targeted over their political beliefs. As Dr. Eastman explains in his op-ed today on FoxNews.com, "The politicization of the IRS... is a dangerous development, a threat to the liberty of every citizen, and it needs to be stopped. NOM's suit is an important step in that effort."

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) did not immediately respond to a request by SDGLN to comment on the NOM lawsuit against the IRS, although it issued an unrelated news release condemning NOM’s president for meddling in Russia’s anti-gay politics. More on that later.

Brown’s email ignores the fact that it is illegal in most states to hide the names of donors of campaign cash and that NOM has been successfully prosecuted in Maine and other states for violating the law. So Brown tries to hide the anti-gay organization behind “freedom of speech” and “freedom of association” arguments when NOM should be following the law and revealing where their political contributions are coming from.

Additionally, Brown throws down the “victim” card by claiming that NOM and its supporters are being “harassed and targeted over their political views.” There is zero evidence of that allegation, but it is clear that NOM’s supporters fear being exposed for having anti-gay and homophobic views.

In his lengthy fundraising email, Brown also slams the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups across America, for designating NOM as an anti-gay hate group. Brown accuses HRC of being the biggest bully, which is ironic considering how NOM's sole mission is to deny equality to LGBT Americans:

The Human Rights Campaign has a notorious record of intimidation and bullying. Pro-marriage individuals are targeted by HRC and others — such as the Southern Poverty Law Center — with all kinds of charged and libelous rhetoric — such as "hate speech" and "hate groups" — in the hopes that they will feel too threatened and frightened to express their views publicly.

Brown admits that the efforts of HRC and the law center have impacted NOM’s bottom line, and he quotes NOM chairman John Eastman.

The campaign of harassment and intimidation that had been tried and perfected in the fight over California's Proposition 8 could now begin again in the 2012 election cycle. That effort succeeded. Donations to NOM and to the ballot campaigns then underway became increasingly hard to come by, to the point that the same-sex marriage forces were able to outspend NOM and its allies by more than $20 million dollars (a nearly 4 to 1 advantage) in the 4 States where marriage was on the ballot in November 2012, resulting in the first electoral losses for traditional marriage ever.

Brown used his email, as usual, to fundraise for NOM and to cry wolf.

Meanwhile, the organization that is supposed to be about “preserving traditional marriage” is exporting its hateful rhetoric to Russia and France, among other places, and jumping into California politics by joining the effort to repeal the state’s new law protecting transgender students. What that has to do with marriage has people scratching their heads.

HRC rips NOM for meddling in foreign affairs

About 90 minutes after Brown sent out his email, the Human Rights Campaign issued a news release that jumped all over Brown for “expanding its portfolio.” Here is the full text:

As a growing chorus of condemnation mounts against a bevy of new anti-LGBT legislation in Russia, today it emerged that National Organization for Marriage (NOM) president Brian Brown traveled to Moscow earlier this year in support of a bill – now law – that bans the adoption of Russian children by gay couples, unmarried couples and single people in countries where same-sex marriage is legal. People For the American Way reported and shared a video from an interview Brown gave to a local television station, where he told the reporters that prohibiting adoptions by gay and lesbian couples was a way of halting a slippery slope of “very negative developments all over the world.” In a speech before the Russian Duma’s committee on family, women and children, he stated, “Every child should have the right to have normal parents: a father and a mother.”

“This goes well beyond marriage,” said Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin. “Apparently NOM is expanding its portfolio to include the international persecution of LGBT people. We knew that Brian Brown had it out for gay people in America, but it’s now become clear that he’s hell-bent on ruining the lives of gays and lesbians worldwide.”

After Brown’s visit, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed the approved legislation into law. Another law, which outlaws "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations," was also passed by Russia’s Parliament and signed into law by President Putin this year. Under the guise of protecting children from "homosexual propaganda," the law imposes steep fines on citizens who disseminate information that may cause a "distorted understanding" that LGBT and heterosexual relationships are "socially equivalent." And yesterday it was reported that a committee of the Russian Parliament advanced a bill that would make homosexuality – or presumed homosexuality – a basis for denying parental custody. The bill is scheduled for a vote by the Duma in February of next year.

According to its own Facebook page, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) “aims to defend marriage as the union of one man & one woman, and protect the faith communities that sustain it.” Yet in recent months, NOM has also expanded its work to include campaigns against transgender youth and marriage efforts in France.