It’s been quite some time since I’ve chosen to quote the bible however I just couldn’t resist the irony. In 2008 the Mormon church (Mitt Romney’s church) bankrolled / steamrolled the California Proposition 8 election in order to eliminate the rights of same-sex couples to marry. This blatant act of discrimination by a politically-motivated religious entity is without precedent in modern history. Mormon temples across the nation were picketed and even a documentary, 8 : The Mormon Proposition, was released in 2010.
Though the Mormon church continues to try to clean up its post-8 image, the church continues to be associated with anti-gay extremism in addition to its history of polygamy. For more information about Prop 8, check out the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Prop 8 decision analysis or Wikipedia.
Though I cannot remember the source, I recently downloaded a pdf of the 2008 IRS schedule B of the National Organization for Marriage, Inc (NOM), another anti-gay group. Here is some interesting data from that form:
- $2 million was collected from a list of 50 contributors.
- 41 individuals with 29 unique last names contributed $1.5M (74% of the pot).
- 36 individuals (88%) were from CA and contributed $806,000 (54% of individuals’ contribution and 40% of the total pot).
- 4 others were from AZ, 3 from PA, 2 from CT, 2 from NY and 1 each from MA, RI and VA.
- One extended family of 9 gave $265,000.
- A man in his 70s living in PA gave a whopping $450,000, the largest individual donation. His wife contributed another $100,000 making their combined contribution 37% of the individuals’ contribution and 27% of the total pot.
- Only 10 women contributed, and of these only 2 were living independently and not obviously related to other male contributors. This pair of women had an average age in their 70s and their contribution was $14,500 (less than 1% of the pot).
- The average age of contributors was early 50s and no one under age 50 lived independently of an older contributor.
- The most expensive home owned by a contributor appraises at $3.8 million. The average appraisal of contributor homes is $1.2 million.
- 9 companies donated $525,000 (26% of the pot), 5 of which are based in CA.
- Knights of Columbus and CA State Council Knights of Columbus – “The strong right arm of the [Catholic] Church”.
- Manchester Financial – Investing firm in San Diego, CA founded by a former treasurer of Pepperdine University, a liberal arts “christian” university in Malibu, CA.
- Adamo Construction – “A mid-sized commercial/industrial design and construction firm” in San Diego, CA.
- The Vineyard Group – A real estate and investment company based in Mesa, AZ.
- T.B. Penick & Sons – General construction management company based in San Diego, CA.
- Free and Strong America – Mitt Romney’s super PAC.
- Law Offices of Charles Limandri – Civil litigation law firm in San Diego, CA.
Enough data crunching. Clearly the bulk of anti-gay legislation funding provided to NOM is from so-called “christian” organizations and their largely older, male, affluent members in CA. Oh, and one elderly, very affluent couple in PA.