News (USA)

Prop 8 defense fund seeks millions to continue anti-marriage equality fight

Prop 8 defense fund seeks millions to continue anti-marriage equality fight

WASHINGTON – The Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund is offering new insight into how much it costs to continue advocating against marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, and the numbers are high.

The organization is soliciting supporters for an additional $2 million to defend California’s Proposition 8 — the 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage — before the U.S. Supreme Court, and claims that it’s already spent $10 million on efforts to prevent committed same-sex couples from marrying.

According to tax documents obtained by the Human Rights Campaign, the group reported approximately $7.6 million in revenue over the course of 2009- 2010. While figures for this year and last are not yet available, the HRC reports they’ve spent another $2.4 million to date.

The tax documents also indicate that funding is coming from a very small group of donors – just five to six contributors. In 2010, six contributors donated nearly $3.3 million of the group’s $4.3 million for the year. In 2009, the organization pulled in more than $1.7 million from just five contributors, or well over 50 percent of its revenue.

“Once again, the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund is pushing the falsehood that it’s simply a grassroots organization relying on the donations of everyday Americans,” said HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz.

“In reality, it is a well-funded, anti-gay organization that relies on the support of a few donors to ensure it can continue its work to prevent committed and loving same-sex couples from marrying. The Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund does not reflect the views of the majority of Americans who support marriage equality, and is nothing more than a bastion for people with extremist agendas aimed at demeaning LGBT people.”

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Prop 8 General Counsel Andy Pugno, who sent the most recent fundraising ask and is currently running for state office in California, also appears to be benefiting personally from the money the organization raises.

According to the tax documents, the Law Offices of Andrew Pugno has received well over half a million dollars from the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund – nearly $130,000 in 2009 and $464,000 in 2010.

You can view the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund’s 2009 990 here, and their 2010 filings here.

The U.S Supreme Court is expected to decide this fall whether it will hear arguments on the constitutionality of Proposition 8.

Via: HRC.

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