Who is funding the anti-gay efforts in D.C.?
Rev. Harry Jackson [right], the Maryland-based preacher and anti-gay zealot has been busy trying to keep gay people in D.C. from getting married. He has filed two referendums and an initiative. He has gone to court twice and lost, and he is going back to court for an appeal and probably more. He pays high-powered attorneys and buys ads on buses. So, where does he get the money to pay for his exploits to undermine our laws and our fundamental rights?
It turns out that the $199,530.00 funding for his efforts come from only four main sources, all from outside of D.C. according reports filed with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance. Jackson has created three distinct groups to wage three different ballot fights. The groups are Stand for Marriage DC [two filings], which tried to keep the marriage recognition law from becoming law; Stand for Marriage DC Referendum, which is trying to keep the marriage equality bill from becoming law; and Stand for Marriage DC Initiative, which has tried to rewrite law to only recognize marriage in D.C. as between one man and one woman. All three groups have been aggregated for this summary.
Jackson’s largest contributor is his own Maryland church based non-profit group, High Impact Leadership Coalition. Some donations are listed as Christian Hope Ministries/High Impact. High Impact’s Board is mostly suburban D.C. church leaders. None are in D.C. He takes tax-deductable 501(c)(3) donations and funnels it into his non-tax deductable ballot campaigns. The IRS may be interested in this $102,192.00 money laundering scheme. Jackson kicked in $100 of his own money to be sporting.
The next largest contributor is the Colorado headquartered national group, Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family was run for many years by the radically conservative radio advice man, James Dobson. Focus on the Family isn’t completely focused on attacking gay people, but it is a significant part of their organization. They’ve come on hard times in recent years and have had to slash their workforce. Still, they were able to contribute $40,000 to harming gay families in D.C.
National Organization for Marriage (NOM),the national group dedicated to keeping gay people from marrying contributed $32,138.00, and their Executive Director, Brian Brown of Great Falls, Virginia also kicked in $50 of his own. Brown, is not-so-coincidentally the treasurer of Jackson’s group Stand for Marriage DC. NOM is facing several ethics investigations for handling its finances.
Family Research Council, the D.C. based national gay bashing group, donated $25,000 through it’s 501(c)(4) lobbying organization, Family Research Council –Action. They are at least smart enough to not launder tax-exempt donations. Chuck Donovan of Manassas, Virginia is a senior vice president of FRC; contributed $50 way back in May to kick off the funding drive.
No donations are from D.C. residents, unless you believe that Harry Jackson actually lives in D.C. His wife and son continue to live in their large suburban home. Jackson’s apartment in D.C. is the headquarters of Stand for Marriage DC.