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Anti-Gay Group NOM Facing Potential Double Legal Trouble

Mark Regnerus

Right now, if I was a member of the National Organization for Marriage, I wouldn’t be in a good mood.

Not only did the organizations lose two marriage equality battles in Hawaii and Illinois, but it is now hit with the following, courtesy of the Human Rights Campaign:

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has repeatedly refused to make its 2012 990s publicly available following their November 15 deadline – a direct violation of federal law. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) first made an in-person request for the public financial documents last Friday morning and again today – both times, NOM was unable to produce the documents. Federal law requires organizations to publicly release their 990s the same day an in-person request is made. As a result, HRC has filed a complaint with the IRS in order to compel NOM to abide by the law.

“NOM’s inability to meet one of the most basic accounting standards for any organization makes you wonder what exactly is going on – are they simply demonstrating the same flagrant disregard they have for numerous state campaign finance laws, or is there something in these documents that reflects even more poorly on the organization and their failed work?” said Fred Sainz, HRC Vice President of Communications. “Brian Brown apparently had enough time on Friday to pull together a fundraising email feigning outrage at the marriage equality victory in Hawaii, but didn’t have time to ensure his organization was running in accordance with the law. NOM should do the right thing and immediately release these financial documents that the public has a right to see.”

But hold on because it gets better. Last week, a judge in Central Florida ordered the University of Central Florida to turn over records related to a study on gay parenting. For those who follow this blog, that study should sound familiar. It was created by University of Texas professor Mark Regnerus and was discredited for its bad research techniques. In addition, there were questions as to how much of a part did the National Organization for Marriage and affiliated spokespeople and organizations play in the creation of this supposedly objective study.

On Friday, the attorney of John Becker, the activist who originally sought the documents, filed a contempt of court charge because UCF has YET to turn the documents over:

The UCF Board of Trustees faces the possibility of major sanctions, including fines or jail time, for failing to produce records in one of the public records lawsuits it’s defending. John Becker’s attorney, Andrea Mogensen, filed a motion for contempt against UCF for refusing to comply with court orders telling UCF to produce records relating to a controversial study by Mark Regnerus on gay and lesbian parenting. According to the motion, Becker seeks sanctions, including fines or imprisonment, for UCF’s Board of Trustees for failure to comply with the court’s Nov. 13 order, which stated that UCF had until Nov. 14 to produce the records. But even after UCF’s lawyers asked the court for clarification over the production of the records and received an extension to produce the records, UCF continued to disobey the court’s orders, the motion states.

We have yet to see the last of these two cases and I hope my popcorn is finished cooking before the final act starts.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding