Thursday, May 24, 2018

Dueling money-begs and a possible IRS violation

Brian S. Brown
I have two simultaneous money-begs from Brian S. Brown. One for International Organization for the Family claiming “we're still behind and running low on time” which refers to a matching funds scam.

Brown, by the way, claims to be Moldova in preparation for the next World Congress of Families event. In the past, WCF has been funded by Russian oligarchs “off the books.” In other words their money goes directly to the event without first going to Brown's organization. I think that they are violating the tax code. I am trying to get an answer from the Service using a hypothetical. If an event is under their auspices then the contributions and expenses might have to appear on Howard Center's ledgers.

World Congress of Families and International Organization for the Family are assumed names for the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society.

The second money request from Brown is on Behalf of National Organization for Marriage. The text is the very definition of sophistry:
Back in the day, LGBT activists promised that the imposition of same-sex 'marriage' would affect nobody but loving gay couples. When NOM warned that this was not true, that once gay 'marriage' was imposed, opponents would be treated like racists under the law, we were accused of hate mongering, scare tactics, homophobia, and worse.
There is a lack of specifics on Brown's part. Nevertheless what we claimed is that marriage equality would have no effect whatsoever on so-called traditional marriage. It has not. Amicus briefs by the likes of Ryan T. Anderson were making theoretical assertions to the contrary. For example:
The conjugal view of marriage is eminently reasonable, as is the concern that redefining marriage might change its social meaning in ways that undermine the public goods historically served by laws defining marriage as the conjugal husband-wife union.
And;
… there are also excellent grounds for thinking that changing marriage law to exclude the norm of complementarity might change the social meaning of marriage across society, in ways that undermine important social goals. After all, law shapes culture, which shapes people's behavior.
I could go on at considerable length but you get the idea.

We never claimed that existing nondiscrimination laws would be changed! According to Brown:
As you know, we were right. Now gay activists conveniently ignore their promises and pursue people of faith who believe in the truth of marriage as the union of a man and a woman as if they are targets in a whack-a-mole game.

Wedding photographers. Inn keepers. T-shirt makers. Florists. Bakers. Churches. Meat packing companies. Galleries. Farmers. Technology pioneers. Music directors. Teachers. School counselors. Bed and breakfast owners. And on, and on, and on…the hits keep coming.
Again, we never promised to change existing nondiscrimination laws. Furthermore, if the archdioceses terminate music directors, teachers and school counselors because they got married, that's on them. No one promised not to counter retaliatory job terminations.

Furthermore, who the hell ever expected that some religious conservatives would be so damned unreasonable? There is no earthly reason why someone cannot sell flowers or bake a cake to be used or consumed at a same-sex wedding.

The wedding photographer, by the way, predates Obergefell by several years as Brown is perfectly aware. The T-shirt maker has nothing to do with same-sex marriage. Neither does the farmer. The meat packer is more complicated. I hate to say that Brian Brown is full of crap but he has been known to fib from time to time.

Brown outlines an agenda as pretext for asking for money:
  • First off, the illegitimate Obergefell ruling of the US Supreme Court imposing gay 'marriage' on the nation must be reversed. That is our most important long-term objective. We will not rest until this is accomplished.
  • Until then, a ruling by the US Supreme Court that it is NOT discrimination for someone to decline to participate in a same-sex 'wedding' that violates their religious beliefs is essential. We could get such a ruling within weeks in a case that NOM is playing a crucial role in supporting (the Masterpiece Cakeshop case);
  • State and federal legislation protecting the rights of people to live out their beliefs about marriage in their daily lives and at work must be enacted. We are working in Congress and in the states to pass such legislation; and
  • Executive orders by President Trump and key federal and state officials can and must be issued that would provide a measure of protection for marriage supporters. We are actively pursuing these orders.
Obergefell isn't going anywhere. There doesn't exist a case challenging Obergefell which should be protected by the doctrine of stare decisis. We respect precedence as a means of insuring stability.

With respect to Masterpiece, if the baker prevails it is unlikely to have anything to do with religion. Rather it will be on compelled speech grounds.

NOM is doing nothing in Congress. They have not had a registered lobbyist for three years. In the states? Who knows? The states that could pass such legislation are unlikely to protect LGBT people in the first place.

Executive orders are pointless. They have no effect on state and local nondiscrimination laws and LGBT people do not have federal protection. What is Brown talking about?

There are people who still believe NOM's BS and keep them in business. As for the appeal, that's where things get a bit sticky:
This is an ambitious agenda. We are up against enormously well-funded opponents from the LGBT community, while we are dependent upon grassroots marriage supporters for help and support. We are being massively outspent, but we're able to prevail in many battles because we have truth on our side, and because we have passionate supporters like you.
When did NOM ever “prevail?” Brown's great accomplishment was California Prop 8 but that got wiped out in 2013 with the ruling in Hollingsworth v. Perry. Speaking of promises, Brown's was that if he could only get marriage on the ballot, NOM would prevail. If memory serves me correctly he lost five out of five in 2012.

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