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Hate group ‘Americans for Truth About Homosexuality’ loses tax-exempt status

Monday, August 1, 2011
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The blog Ex-Gay Watch reported today that the anti-gay, hate groupAmericans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH)” has lost its a 501(c)3 tax-exempt status for failing to submit IRS-required filings.

Although Ex-Gay Watch broke the news Monday, AFTAH’s tax-exempt status appears to have been revoked back in May 2010:

According to the IRS, the tax-exempt status of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) was revoked on 5/10/2010 (PDF). The reason for this action is listed by the reporting organization Guidestar as a “failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years.” These forms are required of legitimate non-profit organizations for review by the IRS and the public.

While the current incarnation of AFTAH appears to have been active since 2006, we found only one form 990-EZ on file — for the year 2009 (PDF). In this, total receipts are listed as $110.000, out of which Peter LaBarbera received a salary of $75,000. For perspective, this is approximately the same salary plus benefits claimed by Exodus president Alan Chambers. Exodus lists eleven employees and a million dollar budget.

According to the IRS documentation on revocations (PDF), AFTAH can no longer be considered a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, and there is no process for appeal.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which designated AFTAH a “hate group” in its “Intelligence Report” last year, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) “was formed as a part-time venture in 1996 by long-time gay-basher Peter LaBarbera, who reorganized it in 2006 as a much more serious and influential, if often vicious, operation.”

In 2007, LaBarbera claimed there was “a disproportionate incidence of pedophilia” among gay men — yet another false assertion. The same year, he posted an open letter to the Lithuanian people from long-time gay-basher Scott Lively [...] who has made a series of false claims about gays running the German Nazi Party. In the piece posted to the AFTAH website, Lively said homosexuals are trying to take away free speech from all opponents of gays and to silence all religious opinions on the matter.

The AFTAH site repeats bogus claims like the idea that a proposed bill in California would “promote cross-dressing, sex-change operations, bisexuality and homosexuality” to kindergartners and other children. And it ran an essay that falsely asserted that hate crime laws would “restrict our speech.”

While the donations section of the AFTAH website no longer claims tax-exempt status, Ex-Gay Watch points out that the “About Us” page still solicits “tax deductible donations.”

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