Monday, June 4, 2012

SHADY: Anti-LGBT Group Hides Contributors in Fight Against Maryland Marriage Equality // 7 of 10 Donors from Outside MD

Maryland Juice has received a copy of the campaign finance report from the Maryland Marriage Alliance (MMA). The anti-civil rights group is leading the effort to overturn the Free State's newly signed marriage equality law.

ANTI-MARRIAGE EQUALITY GROUP HIDES SOURCE OF LARGE % OF DONORS:  There are a few interesting tidbits in the campaign finance report (see a few highlights below), but one bizarre point begs for further explanation. MMA's disclosure report, which is supposed to reveal contributors to their organization, lists MMA itself as one of its biggest donors. How can a group claim that the group itself is a contributor??? This bit of shadiness warrants scrutiny. According to the MMA report, MMA received $46,575.00 from MMA. The obvious question is, where did the $46,575.00 come from? This is not chump change, and in fact represents almost one-third of the total contributions MMA received:

7 IN 10 DONORS TO ANTI-MARRIAGE EQUALITY CAMPAIGN ARE FROM OUT OF STATE: So much for conservatives who believe in States' rights. Maryland's legislature and Governor passed marriage equality into law earlier this year, but apparently residents of other states are unhappy with the laws that Maryland adopts. Based on my rough calculations, over seven in ten donors to the so-called "Maryland" Marriage Alliance are from outside of Maryland. Specifically, the Maryland Marriage Alliance reports receiving contributions from about 590 individuals and entities (not counting donations it claims came from itself), but 416 of the 590 donations are from outside of Maryland. By my calculations, hardly any of MMA's resources came from individuals in Maryland (ie: maybe 10%, if that).

50% OF MMA'S MONEY COMES FROM A WASHINGTON-BASED RACE-BAITING GROUP: One not surprising fact is that roughly 50% of the anti-civil rights campaign's resources came from the DC-based rightwing group, The National Organization for Marriage (aka NOM). According to MMA's campaign finance filing, NOM (an out-of-state organization) is the single largest contributor to the anti-civil rights campaign. They have donated $73,000 to the effort thus far, representing half of MMA's resources. Notably, NOM has been caught red-handed using race-baiting tactics in its quest to stop marriage equality in Maryland and around the nation. A leaked internal strategy document reveals NOM's exploitation of minority groups in Maryland:
NOM STRATEGY DOCUMENT: “The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots…”

CATHOLIC CHURCH IS 2ND BIGGEST DONOR TO ANTI-CIVIL RIGHTS CAMPAIGN: Notably, the Maryland Catholic Conference is the second largest donor to the effort to stop the expansion of civil rights in Maryland (again, excluding MMA's contributions to itself). I'm thrilled to see that during the recession, the Vatican has opened its heart and its wallet to such a noble, humanitarian effort:

But the Church's contribution of resources to this hateful and divisive campaign should not be surprising, given the crazy pitchfork mobs that Catholic leaders are helping create in Maryland (see video exhibit below):

Meanwhile, it continues to be the case that a majority of Catholics support marriage equality. As Reuters reiterated earlier this year:
REUTERS: Overall, the survey found 53 percent of Catholics supported the idea of same-sex marriage, while the general public is evenly divided on the issue. Fifty-six percent of Catholics did not believe sexual relations between two adults of the same gender constituted a sin, compared to 46 percent of the general population.

Sixty percent of Catholics favored adoption rights for same-sex couples, 49 percent think gays should be allowed to be ordained as clergy, and 73 percent believe they should have legal protections in the workplace – all higher percentages than found in the general population, PRRI said.

Below, you can breeze through the full Maryland Marriage Alliance contribution report:

Maryland Marriage Alliance Campaign Finance Report - May 2012

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