Maine Court Sticks It To NOM: Reveal Your Donors Or Go The Hell Away

While the National Organization for Marriage has sunk its rabid paws into many a state sans disclosure of its donor list, a Maine appeals court is saying that ain’t gonna work for them.

This comes as NOM tries to battle marriage-equality supporters who gathered over 100,000 signatures to put gay marriage on the ballot this November. Previously, NOM donated nearly $2 million to repeal same-sex marriage via referendum in 2009.

Ever playing the victim, NOM tells the Boston Globe that gay-marriage supporters are going after straight-marriage supremacists in their homes and that they’ll appeal this to the Supreme Court. Right.

James Bopp Jr., an Indiana lawyer who is representing NOM, played up the yarn that the organization is grassroots. (It’s not.) Said Bopp to the Globe: “We already know that the homosexual lobby has launched a national campaign of harassment and intimidation against supporters of traditional marriage, so there’s a good reason to keep these names confidential.”

Mary Bonauto, an attorney with Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, called bullshit on NOM. “Courts have said it’s important for voters to know who the donors are for each side since that information may help them decide how to vote,” she said. “Everyone else abides by the disclosure rules and so can NOM.”

And if you’re wondering who NOM’s big unnamed donors are—probably the Catholic and Mormon Churches.

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  • Robert in NYC

    I wonder if the Supreme Court will even hear the case? If not, how long will it be before we see the list? It’s incumbent on all companies, both non and non-profit to disclose their donor lists if such contributions amount to $5000 or more. It’s supposed to be attached to their 990 returns and the public has a right to see a copy on demand. Failure to do so can result in stiff fines and tax-exempt status revoked if a company is a non-profit which is the case with NOM, under 501(c) 4 of the IRS code.

    Aside from the obvious donors, I wonder how many famous celebrities are on the list? I hope we’re not unpleasantly surprised.

  • Cam

    Thank you for keeping us updated on this.

    Additionally, if you look at many on the Board of NOM, they have connections to the highest circles of the Mormon Church.

    “A new website dedicated to exposing the National Organization for Marriage shows the deep involvement of the LDS Church and Mormons in one of the country’s most notorious anti-equality groups.

    Sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, lists at least five prominent Mormons in its “Rogues’ Gallery” of NOM board members, former board members, and actors, from Matthew S. Holland to Orson Scott Card and from Lynn D. Wardle to Joseph “Robb” and Robbie Wirthlin. The HRC’s website assigns each individual a nickname.

    Matthew S. Holland (nickname: “The Freshman”) is the son of apostle Jeffrey R. Holland. Orson Scott Card (nickname: “Scribe Card”) is notorious for his hateful, homophobic writings. Lynn D. Wardle (nickname: “Professor Anti-Equality”) has been fighting equality with the sponsorship of BYU and the Mormon Church since at least 1997. Joseph “Robb” and Robbie Wirthlin (nickname: “Circus Barkers”) are the grandson and grand-daughter-in-law of late Mormon apostle Joseph B. Wirthlin.

    Another section of the website details NOM’s relationship to its three main sponsoring groups: The Mormon Church, The Catholic Church/Opus Dei, and far-right Christians.

    “NOM was so closely identified with the Mormon Church that several newspapers throughout the 2008 Prop. 8 fight referred to NOM as a ‘Mormon group,’” the site explains. “The Grand Rapids Press, The Sacramento Bee, and the Contra Costa Times all referred to NOM as a ‘Mormon group’ or a ‘New Jersey-based Mormon group’ during that volatile campaign.”

  • Robert in NYC

    I’m waiting for the Southern Poverty Center to declare NOM a hate group.

  • Chad

    “Said Bopp to the Globe: “We already know that the homosexual lobby has launched a national campaign of harassment and intimidation against supporters of traditional marriage, so there’s a good reason to keep these names confidential.”

    What national campaign???? where is the proof?

  • Shannon1981

    Surely they don’t really believe that they can keep their donors secret? They’ve had judge after judge demand that they reveal the sources of their astronomical amounts of money. Maggie and Brian should be in jail by now.

  • chuck

    But Fundy organizations such as NOM are totally shielded from judicial decisions!
    They can tell any court to shove it and nothing is ever done. If this were OWS, the courts would be issuing warrants immediately for their incarceration.

  • Zazz

    The Catholic church actually tends to be fairly supportive of gay rights. Just not within their own church walls.

  • Johdar

    WA state had a similar battle over the release of names on the signature list for an initiative that was to limit marriage and the anti-gay people used the same argument. “The pro-gay people are going to come to our homes and hurt us.” Their case was ultimately thrown out by a ruling that said, essentially, names signed to get an initiative on the ballot are not protected as they are public record.

    You go, Maine! Make them reveal who supports them. (Even though it will be no big surprise to most everyone, I am sure.)

  • Take-Back-Christopher-Street

    @Zazz: who wrote: “…Catholic church actually tends to be fairly supportive of gay rights.”

    …!!!GAG!!!…That’s about the biggest BS I’ve heard in long time.

  • the crustybastard


    The Catholic church actually tends to be fairly supportive of utterly dedicated to attacking gay rights. Just Not just within their own church walls but also by exploiting secular politics.

    There. I fixed it for you.

  • Jim Hlavac

    There is no proof whatsoever that any NOM lover has ever been attacked in their homes or elsewhere by any gay person whatsoever. The charge is so false as to beyond laughter and into sheer fabrication that, if put in a court paper, might well be considered perjury or frivolous, and certainly in contempt of any judge’s intelligence.

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