Anti-gay groups eye higher spending through next year

May 7, 2011 at 9:13 am 38 comments

By Adam Bink

Journalist Andy Birkey has a lengthy, well-done piece about the spending:

Anti-gay rights groups around the country will see a cash infusion over the next two years through a plan called “Ignite an Enduring Cultural Transformation.” And the groups are remaining mum about who is responsible.

The campaign, which largely targets states where Republicans won control of legislatures or governorships, has garnered the support of Republican political superstars such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.), and Rep. Trent Franks (Ariz.). The groups intend to pass anti-gay marriage amendments, curtail abortion rights and, in at least one case, ban “transgender bathrooms.”

Family policy councils — a creation of Focus on the Family in the 1980s — have launched the Ignite plan in 15 states. Each family policy council has a three-prong plan to achieve their legislative goals over the next two years: lobbying for legislation, mobilizing pastors and social conservatives and supporting candidates that have backed their initiatives. Each group has used a stock brochure containing nearly identical wording to explain their plan and to solicit funds. In many cases, an Ignite plan was launched with an anonymous matching-grant donor.

Requests for information from many of the policy councils were denied, and Focus on the Family told The American Independent that they have no involvement, declining to offer information on any organization that might back the plan.

Focus on the Family says that while the groups are “fully associated” with FoF, they “are independent entities with no corporate or financial relationship to each other or to Focus on the Family.”

While Form 990s — revenue and expense documents that nonprofits file with the IRS — don’t provide detailed information on political organizing expenditures, The American Independent has provided each group’s average yearly revenues for comparison to their two-year spending under the Ignite plan.

Already, the groups are seeing success in their respective states.

The South Dakota Family Policy Council is spending $72,600 in the next two years as part of the Ignite campaign (PDF), specifically to pass legislation that would force women seeking an abortion to speak to counselors at religious-based crisis pregnancy centers.

SDFPC lobbied heavily for the bill in the media, testified before the South Dakota legislature and organized a pastor’s day at the state Capitol in Pierre in February to advocate for the bill. It passed the legislature and was signed into law in late-March.

The SDFPC is also pushing legislation that would ban surrogate mothers, but thus far the bill has yet to get out of committee. The group lists “Defeat Equality-SD’s radical gay-rights legislation,” as a goal of the Ignite campaign.

All told, SDFPC plans to spend $72,600 under the campaign, a small chunk of the average $304,000 the group took in as normal operating revenue each year over the last 5 years.

SDFPC did not return a request for information about the campaign.

Anti-gay marriage amendments on the ballot in 2012

In several states — such as Indiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — Ignite plans seems to be targeted at getting anti-gay marriage amendments passed.

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia (FPCWV) plans to spend $168,000 through 2012  (it’s average yearly budget is $132,000) during its two-year Ignite campaign to pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, and also to defeat laws that would prevent discrimination against gays and lesbians.

In West Virginia, both houses of the legislature are overwhelmingly held by Democrats, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is a Democrat. The planned anti-gay marriage amendment there was voted down in the House of Delegates in February, even though many of the Democrats in the state oppose gay marriage.

There’s also a good deal more information about planned 2012 constitutional amendments out in the states.

A lot of people who contribute to Courage Campaign to fund our work tell me its because the right-wingers always have more money. Independent studies have shown, on a net level, that’s actually true. And it may actually get worse.

Entry filed under: Right-wing.

Good news: Deportation hearing for Josh and Henry postponed A Mother’s Day gift of marriage

38 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ronnie  |  May 7, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Oh but wasn’t NOM (National Organization for My-way) complaining about pro-Equality groups spending money to do the same…..

    Hypocrisy: NOM Outraged That Pro-Equality Groups Use Same Tactics They Do

    Oh that’s right….because NOM etc. can do & say what ever they want ….but when we reciprocate we’re wrong…..You just got to love (barf…not really) their repugnant superiority/God complex……<3…Ronnie

    • 2. Kathleen  |  May 7, 2011 at 9:38 am

      • 3. Ed Cortes  |  May 7, 2011 at 10:10 am

        They will not go quietly, will they?

        • 4. JonT  |  May 7, 2011 at 11:32 am

          Neither will we.

          If history (not to mention logic and facts) is any judge though, they will be the ones to go, quietly or otherwise.

          • 5. Peterplumber  |  May 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm

            We don’t have long to wait till the Religous Right is no longer here to bother with us.

            May 21 2011 Judgement Day


          • 6. Martin the Brit  |  May 8, 2011 at 3:25 am

            May 21st! I can’t believe it’s that time again already. I must remember to pick my purple hotpants up from the dry cleaners. They say it’s going to be very hot in the far south.

          • 7. Straight Ally #3008  |  May 8, 2011 at 8:48 am

            If Judgement Day is May 21, why don’t they donate all their money and worldly possessions to the poor as a final act of good faith? Oh wait, I forgot, these people don’t believe in good works.

          • 8. Steve  |  May 8, 2011 at 10:39 am

            Why do good works when blind faith alone gets you into heaven?

          • 9. Judy  |  May 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm

            Join me for the Rapture After-Party, anybody? May 22, around the country. My closest is in Oakland, home of the radio preacher promoting his radio show/end of the world.

          • 10. Ann S.  |  May 8, 2011 at 8:05 pm

            I for one would not miss most of those folks planning on being raptured.

    • 11. Rhie  |  May 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      Lying for the “Lord” Is A-OK. Telling the truth for equality is not. At least in their minds.

  • 12. Sagesse  |  May 7, 2011 at 9:43 am

    The anti-equality movement is perfecting the art of money laundering. Which they were pretty good at before.

  • 13. Xandoz  |  May 7, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I’ll never understand how conservatives claim we’re “redefining” marriage when they are the ones editing the lawbook to exclude marriage equality. It seems to me that the act of inserting these amendments is “redefining” the inherent equality already there. If they have to pass a a law banning it, isn’t that an admittance that marriage equality IS (should be) the law of the land, unless otherwise banned? Argh!

    • 14. Rhie  |  May 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm

      Yup. The first anti-equality laws were in the mid-90s. Theoretically same sex marriage was legal before that.

    • 15. BK  |  May 8, 2011 at 4:42 am

      I did not think of that. More information to convince my friends with. Thanks, Xandoz.

  • 16. Michelle Evans  |  May 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Slightly OT, but not sure if anyone saw this on a previous post, so wanted to re-post today.

    Might be a little late in the day to post this, but there was an incident here in Irvine, CA, a week or so ago, against a trans person. The incident involved the manager of a Ralph’s grocery store (No. 139) who went off on a transgender man. The manager was making snide comments about the person’s genitalia, and asking rude questions, all because he was just in line to buy groceries.

    We have a large group of people up in arms in our local area, and through our various trans support groups such as TG Rainbow and Shift Happens. Several letters have been sent to Ralphs corporate HQ, but so far as I know there has been zero response. The store in question has tried to say the whole incident was unimportant, and just sloughed it all off. Sounds like they think it is some sort of a joke–or maybe that transgender people are some sort of a joke. Either way, it is a very sad situation, and a truly horrible one for the man involved. Considering the full situation, I would hope that some action could be taken against Ralphs.

    We have asked Ralphs to not only apologize for what happened, but also to provide training to their employees concerning trans-related issues. As I say, so far, they seem to care less. I would hope that others in the LGB community would stand with your trans brothers and sisters in condemning what has happened.

    Looks like we may have another business to stay away from.

    • 17. Xandoz  |  May 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm

      That is unacceptable and I would like to find out who to call or complain to. Phone numbers, emails?

      We stand by our trans brothers and sisters.

    • 18. Shellshocker  |  May 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Here is the cooperate information to Kroger company. I sent them a web response in response to the transgendered incident. While I don’t have a Ralphs in my area I do have several of their cooperate stores in which now I will be boycotting.

      • 19. Shellshocker  |  May 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm

        I would also suggest posting the link to the story so some people can get it out on the social media web sites.

        • 20. Michelle Evans  |  May 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm

          Unfortunately it is not a “story.” In other words, no media has deemed this news worthy of mention, especially here in Orange County. Which is why I am trying to get more attention to the subject through the P8TT community. Below is an excerpt from a letter from a parent of a transgender son, which she wrote to Ralphs, and explains the overall situation that occurred (I have left our specific names):

          “Your store manager at that location remarked on a young man’s genitals, called him pejorative names, and queried the issue of whether or not this young man had had genital surgery. The occasion for your manager’s conduct was the attempt to purchase beer by this transgendered male who is over twenty-one and who proffered identification.

          “We also know that the response your Customer Service representative offered to XXXX as he attempted to describe the experience of being repeatedly called a “hermaphrodite” in your store… that response being that he has no witness to such an incident… is not in the best long-term interests of your company; nor is it true; nor is it a response we can accept.

          “[The store manager] believes that in his position as your employee, he can safely publicly humiliate and denigrate a transgendered customer. He is unaware that a transgendered individual maligned by a local business is not without support: within the transgendered community; through allies; and through the sense of decency shared by other Ralphs customers who were forced to witness your manager’s behavior.”

          And here is the store info:

          Ralphs Store 139
          13321 Jamboree Rd
          Tustin, California 92782

          • 21. rick jacobs  |  May 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm


            Are you in contact with the family? If so, would the parents consider posting here and asking for help? We could readily do a sign on for Orange County members of Courage demanding that Ralph’s apologize, issue it’s policy on such matters for all to see and even make a donation to one or both of the trans groups in the OC that you mention.

            Or you could author such an email and we could send it out to folks in OC.

            What do you say?


          • 22. Michelle Evans  |  May 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm


            Yes, I am definitely in contact with the family, and also the transgender person involved with the incident.

            Do you have some way for me to send you a private email, where I can put you in contact with some of the people involved? I have the general email address for the Courage Campaign, if that is sufficient. But figured that might just get lost in the bulk that comes through.

          • 23. rick jacobs  |  May 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm


            My email is


          • 24. Michelle Evans  |  May 7, 2011 at 8:38 pm

            Thanks Rick. I’ll get in touch.

  • 25. Rhie  |  May 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    They’re losing, and know it is what this tells me.

  • 26. Lodi Gal  |  May 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Think about how many homeless folks they could feed with all that righteous dough. Someone ought to make a list of what all the hate money could have purchased if they were truly interested in supporting families.

  • 27. rick jacobs  |  May 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Rhie and Lodi Gal are right. This is the last gasp of a desperate gang of small-minded troglodytes. I’ve been watching closely the situation in Minnesota where the parents of fallen Corporal Andrew Wilfahrt have testified before both houses, written letters to the VFW posts and done all they could to show that a constitutional ban is unnecessary (because same-sex marriage is already banned there) and an insult to them and the memory of their son.

    While over time we’ll win, we cannot wait. We cannot let the other side own the message or the offense. That’s partially why our DOMA repeal work is so important. It shows that there is affirmative energy for expanding, not reducing the rights of Americans. It’s also why this site and Testimony, soon to be launched in a more fulsome way, matter so much.


    • 28. The Gog.  |  May 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm

      Excellent, “troglodyte.” Anti-gay, bigot, troglodytes.

    • 29. Peterplumber  |  May 7, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      ooOOoo, Testimony soulds like it could be good. I had sent my own “Testimony” to Adam the other day. Just wondering if that’s the kind of thing which will be posted there.

  • 30. Straight Ally #3008  |  May 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Can’t they be consigned to the dustbin of history already?

  • 31. New  |  May 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    OT- Brazil Top Court Grants Equal Rights to Same-Sex Unions.
    Brazil becomes largest nation yet to legalize Federal Civil Unions.
    Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples share most – if not all – the same rights as married men and women in a landmark advance for the gay marriage movement in heavily Catholic Latin America.

    Ordem e Progresso <3

  • 32. Lee  |  May 7, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    West Virginian democrats are democrats in name only.

    • 33. BK  |  May 8, 2011 at 4:46 am

      I did not even expect them to be labeled as “D”. How, again, does a republican become nominated as a democrat?

  • 34. fern  |  May 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    “to pass legislation that would force women seeking an abortion to speak to counselors at religious-based crisis pregnancy centers….” In other words we have the freedom to impose religion in SD.
    In N.Y. the archbishop said “he loves his mom but can’t marry her” he didn’t mention their love for little boys “but can’t or won’t marry them either”.
    Then all them “lawmakers” against abortion I wish for their wives and daughters to be raped and pregnant so they can watch the letter of a rapist grow and develop.
    If I had religion I would thank the good lord for being a Belgian and able to live in a civilized country. It’s 0830 here and I suffer nausea reading the “good” news from America.

    • 35. Rhie  |  May 8, 2011 at 2:19 am

      I was with you til the last one. Wishing for rape makes you worse than they are. Instead, I say take the anti-abortion-in-every-case types down to talk to a girl in that situation. Make them look her in the eyes as they spout their hateful sexist crap. Do it over and over and over again until they get the message: There are PEOPLE here. REAL people, with real horrifying situations that really need real solutions.

      • 36. BK  |  May 8, 2011 at 4:48 am


  • 38. Casey  |  May 8, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Maybe this is just shallow, but does anyone else have to stifle a laugh when reading the ridiculous moniker “Ignite an Enduring Cultural Transformation”? The abusurd notion that they are “igniting” a line of thinking that is facing its death rattle in the coming years is more than a little sad. As for the “enduring cultural transformation”? You cannot transform something to be what it has already been. Progress is coming, and I think they know that the cards fall to us. Back to my Sunday letter-writing and petition-signing duties…..


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