Antigay groups get lavish, secret funding

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Rainbow Burned flagnews analysis.

With survey after survey showing that support for LGBT equality has reached majority levels in many parts of the country, the opposition–primarily fundamentalist religion-based organizations–is gearing up for a counteroffensive. Major funding will be made available over the next two years for a plan called “Ignite an Enduring Cultural Transformation,” focusing on getting antigay marriage amendments passed, along with curtailing abortion rights and even banning transgender bathrooms.

The campaign is being launched in 15 states by Family Policy Councils, organizations created by Focus on the Family, and will lobby for legislation, attempt to mobilize pastors and the socially conservative, and solicit funds. Many of these state-level initiatives carry the promise of anonymous matching grants for donations. The source of these funds is a carefully guarded secret. None of the councils will comment on that part of their operations.

The amount of money in question is quite substantial and the councils are already seeing success. The South Dakota Family Policy Council has a budget of $304,000 a year and lists “defeat Equality–SD’s radical gay-rights agenda” as part of its “Ignite” campaign. The West Virginia council will spend $168,000 through 2012. The Minnesota council will spend  $4.71 million. The Louisiana Family Forum will spend $225,000, and Florida’s FPC will spend $300,000. In each case substantial funding has come from unnamed sources.

The Pennsylvania Family Institute will spend $1.5 million through 2012 promoting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, civil unions and laws preventing discrimination against gays and lesbians. On May 3, Republicans introduced the antigay marriage amendment in the Pennsylvania legislature.

The New Jersey Family Policy Council plans to spend $1.362 million to defeat same-sex marriage laws and to promote a law requiring parental notification before a minor has an abortion. NJFPC’s yearly revenue has averaged $864,000 over the past three years. No explanation of the influx of funds has been forthcoming.

It should be noted that the millions of dollars funding these antigay organizations nationwide far exceeds the funding of all the LGBT organizations in the country combined. The NJFPC, headed by Len Deo, says on its website that it intends to promote a state ruled solely by its ultraconservative interpretation of Christianity. The site, which features the Ignite plan, states “Promoting Values–engaging the Christian community to advocate for laws that promote what is good and defeat laws that uphold what is evil according to God’s Word.” 

Same-sex marriage and homosexuality are currently  at the head of NJFPC’s list of evils online.

Rainbow Burned flagnews analysis.

With survey after survey showing that support for LGBT equality has reached majority levels in many parts of the country, the opposition–primarily fundamentalist religion-based organizations–is gearing up for a counteroffensive. Major funding will be made available over the next two years for a plan called “Ignite an Enduring Cultural Transformation,” focusing on getting antigay marriage amendments passed, along with curtailing abortion rights and even banning transgender bathrooms.