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Category Archives: Congress

National Organization for Marriage Expresses Concern Over New Executive Order, Calls on Congress to Protect People of Faith Against 'Reverse Discrimination'

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


"The fact is that non-discrimination rules like the order issued by President Obama can become a weapon used to punish and harass individuals and groups who support marriage as the union of one man and one woman." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

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Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) expressed concern over President Obama's signing today of a new executive order ostensibly aimed at preventing workplace discrimination against LGBT persons but that in reality could target Christians and other people of faith for reverse discrimination and harassing lawsuits. The executive order applies to all groups, including religious employers, who contract with the federal government.

"The fact is that non-discrimination rules like the order issued by President Obama can become a weapon used to punish and harass individuals and groups who support marriage as the union of one man and one woman," said Brian S. Brown, NOM's president. "As with the flawed ENDA (Employee Non-Discrimination Act) legislation that was rejected by Congress, President Obama's order has the great potential of putting employers in the position of standing up for their faith values or violating the new order. This will unnecessarily subject people of faith to harassing complaints and lawsuits."

Brown surmised that this executive order could lead to Christians and others with belief in marriage as the union of a man and a woman facing reprisal and even punishment simply for expressing their views in the workplace.

"All manner of frivolous lawsuits could result from an action like this, and that's a dangerous thing when the courts have already shown such a lack of restraint when it comes to the question of the definition of marriage," Brown maintained. "This is nothing more than an agenda to create a cultural narrative wherein the belief in marriage as the union of one man and one woman becomes the legal and social equivalent of bigotry or hate speech. It is the next step on a path we've already seen this administration proudly pursuing, a path toward a new thought-policing state where those who hold traditional values about marriage and family are to be marginalized."

Brown called on Congress to pass legislation overturning the new executive order and to revisit the issues of conscience protection and religious freedom for believers in traditional marriage. He urged citizens to contact their Senators and Representatives about these concerns.

To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray, [email protected], or Matille Thebolt, [email protected], at 703-683-5004

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

Alabama Legislators Call for U.S. Constitution to Be Amended to Define and Protect Marriage

The Montgomery Advertiser reported recently that a resolution sponsored by Alabama State Representative Richard Laird passed the Alabama House, calling for an Article V convention to amend the Constitution of the United States:

Alabama FlagThe resolution, sponsored by Rep. Richard Laird, I-Roanoke, quotes a 2006 amendment to the state constitution that bans same-sex unions, and calls marriage “a sacred covenant, solemnized between a man and a woman.” The resolution also cites several court cases, including five from the 19th century. It goes on to say that the U.S. Supreme Court “officially severed its respect for marriage” last year, when it struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which prevented the recognition of same-sex spouses under federal laws.

Laird’s resolution calls for an Article V convention, which would require 34 states to ask Congress to call a convention to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. According to the resolution, the convention would specifically propose an amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and bar legal recognition of any other form of marriage.

Read more here.

Let Them Eat Cake, NOM Marriage News

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Since the age of the French Revolution, the phrase "Let them eat cake" has been used as a symbol of out-of-touch, tyrannical elites or aristocracies. The phrase comes from a popular anecdote that a monarch (often identified as Marie Antoinette), when told that the peasants had no bread to eat and were starving, proposed this as the solution: "Let them eat cake."

Well, ironically in our own day the phrase is once again a fitting a symbol of an out-of-touch, tyrannical government: this time in the form of a Colorado Judge who ruled that a baker in Denver must provide wedding cakes to same-sex couples... or else pay the price.

The decision from Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer in Denver, CO is like a chilling flashback for anyone concerned about the first amendment protections of freedom of religion and expression — a flashback to a similar decision earlier this year in the case of Elane Photography in New Mexico.

Before talking about this new case dealing with a business called Masterpiece Cakeshop, I want to look back on that earlier one, especially since the Colorado decision makes use of and cites the decision issued by the New Mexico Supreme Court.

Flash-back: "The Price of Citizenship"

When Christian photographers Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin declined to photograph a same-sex couple's "commitment ceremony" in 2006, the 'to-be-wed' couple filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission and a legal battle ensued after the Commission ruled against the photographers. The battle made it all the way up the New Mexico Supreme Court which finally brought down its ruling on August 22 of this year.

In his concurring opinion in the ruling against Elane Photography, New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Richard Bosson wrote these chilling words [emphasis added]:

[T]here is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life. In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different. That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship.

I would ask the Court this: what price of citizenship does the same-sex couple pay, who surely could have picked any number of capable photographers with no conscientious objection to recording their ceremony? Apparently, in the eyes of the Court, this is a one-way street. The message to people of faith, and really to all Americans, was crystal clear: your deeply held religious beliefs and convictions have no place in the public square anymore.

If you choose to run a business, sure you can still do it according to your values — but only until those values come into conflict with the values of the intelligentsia and opinion makers who happen to be running the show. At that point, the price of your citizenship is that you must be punished.

And that's a message that should trouble all Americans, both liberal and conservative alike.

Fast-forward: "Preparing a Cake is Simply Not 'Speech'"

Now here's another message that should trouble all of us, regardless of background or ideology: the message that the courts have purview to dictate to an artist how he should practice his art.

That is effectively the upshot of the first part of the decision by Colorado Judge Robert Spencer against Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakes.

The Judge dismissed Mr. Phillips' claim that being forced to make a cake for a same-sex wedding would violate his freedom of speech on the grounds that "the act of preparing a cake is simply not 'speech' warranting First Amendment protection."

Had these words arisen in any other context, penned by any other judge in any other case, you can bet your bottom dollar that liberals across the nation would be having a fit! Who is this judge to tell a baker that his trade doesn't constitute artistic expression?

I challenge any same-sex marriage activist to take to their blog or to pen an op-ed doubling down on the opinion that what cake decorators and bakers do isn't a form of artistry and doesn't deserve protections as a form of expression!

And I'd be willing to bet if this case had involved a portrait painter, or a photographer, or a musician, or a florist, the judge would have ruled exactly the same way.

How's that for citizenship 'rights' in America? So that same-sex couples can redefine marriage to suit their own desires, the first amendment rights of all artists — poets and painters, florists and bakers, musicians and photographers — will be delineated by what the courts decide constitutes 'expression.'

Effectively, this judge has said to Mr. Phillips — to every baker in America — and by extension to every kind of artist in America... "It's just a stupid cake. Bake it." "It's just a stupid song. Sing it." "It's just a stupid picture. Take it." "It's just stupid art. Fake it."

We could wait and see whether the champions of freedom on the left raise their voices to cry against this attack on the first amendment. But alas, I fear we'd have to wait a long time...

Don't Wait. ACT NOW.

Instead of waiting for the first amendment to be protected by its supposed champions, therefore, We the People who are its true champions need to stand up and be heard.

You and I have the opportunity to do just that today.

How?

Write to Congress today to urge support for the "Marriage and Religious Freedom Acts" which have been introduced in both the House and the Senate. These bills will help protect churches and people of faith from the kind of judicial tyranny which is becoming such a disturbing trend in the wake of the push to redefine marriage!

The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act authored by Senator Mike Lee already enjoys several Republican co-sponsors, and according to The Washington Examiner, Senator Lee says that some Democrats have expressed willingness to sign on to it as well.

In remarks to the Examiner, Lee said:

Nearly every member of Congress on both ends of the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle, will at least purport to be a strong supporter of religious liberty, and this should be an uncontroversial position to take. [...] I don't think anyone believes that the federal government ought to be making religious doctrinal decisions on behalf of churches and other religious institutions.

Lee's bill is similar in spirit to a House version introduced in September of this year by Representative Raul Labrador (R-Id.), which has a bipartisan coalition of 91 cosponsors.

NOM is very grateful to be working with advocates in both the House of Representatives and the Senate who are standing up and emphasizing the need to protect religious freedom from government overreach and targeting. By having bills in both chambers it provides a greater opportunity for debate and raises the profile of this crucially important issue.

So please click here now to thank both Senator Lee and Representative Labrador for the courageous leadership in defense of marriage and religious liberty, and to urge your members of Congress to support their legislation. These bills are especially important in the wake of the weakening of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by the Supreme Court in the fateful Winsdor decision this past June. Don't delay! Contact Congress right away!

Once again, I express my own personal gratitude, as well as the gratitude of NOM and all its allies, to Senator Mike Lee, Representative Raul Labrador, and so many other heroic members of Congress who are working to ensure that the freedoms we all hold so dear are not trampled underfoot in a bullying mob's rush to redefine marriage.

Proof that Standing in the Truth Can Still Win Hearts

I'll close today by remarking on some charming and edifying news from yesterday: Pope Francis being named TIME's "Person of the Year."

An article in TIME by Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs captures well the enigma that Pope Francis has presented to many over his brief reign thus far:

These days it is bracing to hear a leader say anything that annoys anyone. Now liberals and conservatives alike face a choice as they listen to a new voice of conscience: Which matters more, that this charismatic leader is saying things they think need to be said or that he is also saying things they'd rather not hear?

This challenge of Pope Francis is elaborated upon in the profile piece TIME published along with the cover story:

Francis signals great change while giving the same answers to the uncomfortable questions. On the question of female priests:"We need to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman." Which means: no. No to abortion, because an individual life begins at conception. No to gay marriage, because the male-female bond is established by God. "The teaching of the church ... is clear," he has said, "and I am a son of the church, but [...] it is not necessary to talk about those issues all the time."

In other words, as the authors quote Pope Francis saying elsewhere: "[W]hen we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context."

This is a good reminder for all of us who work in defending true marriage. While we might seem to"talk about those issues all the time," it's only because our opponents' attacks on marriage never relent. We must never allow it to be in the way Francis criticizes: we cannot speak only about them, out of context, only criticizing the bad and never praising the good.

In fact, we've striven at NOM for years to explain that it's not a matter of being "against" or "anti" anyone or anything. Rather, we are for marriage: for the essential service it provides for the good of humanity, for the role it plays in bringing men and women together and uniting them in love to one another and to their children.

Let us take heart, then, and learn the real lesson that Pope Francis's popularity teaches all of us: the overarching importance of always presenting the truth in love. There will always be those who disagree, but disagreement must never turn to hate or malice. We love every one of God's children and all His good gifts, like the wonderful gift of marriage between husband and wife. May that spirit of love be our banner always.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Members of Congress Commend National Organization for Marriage For Suing Internal Revenue Service over Illegal Release of Its Tax Return

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 25, 2013
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


"We are grateful to these leaders of the House for stepping forward to express their support of our efforts to hold lawbreakers within the IRS accountable for their crimes."  —Brian Brown, NOM president —

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Washington, D.C. — Three dozen members of the United States House of Representatives have signed a letter to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) praising it for filing a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service for illegally leaking its confidential tax return including a list of its top donors. The confidential tax data ended up in the possession of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) whose president was a national co-chair of President Obama's reelection committee.

"We applaud you in your effort to find the truth about what happened to your donor lists as we in Congress continue fighting to hold the Obama Administration accountable for these abuses of American citizens' constitutional rights," the letter said. The letter was signed by 36 members of the US House of Representatives including Republican Study Committee Chairman, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Values Action Team Co-Chair, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA).

"We are grateful to these leaders of the House for stepping forward to express their support of our efforts to hold lawbreakers within the IRS accountable for their crimes," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "No group should have to worry that its confidential tax return information including donor information will be leaked by the IRS and end up in the hands of its arch political opponents."

The leaking of NOM's tax return and confidential donor information has been investigated by the federal government, but the Obama Administration refuses to provide the public with any accounting of what they have found, claiming that the law protects the identity of the individuals involved in the criminal act of leaking the information in the first instance. Releasing taxpayer tax returns is a felony under federal law. Several committees of the US House have examined the matter, including the Committee on Ways & Means and the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.

"The Obama Administration has adopted a Nixonian approach of delay, denial and obstruction to keep under wraps the truth about who was involved in this crime," said John Eastman, NOM's Chairman. "Our lawsuit is intended to get all the facts to the American people so they can hold people accountable. The public is entitled to know how this crime unfolded and whether anyone at the White House, Obama Reelection Committee or the HRC had any role in this disturbing event."

Eastman testified about the issue before the Ways & Means Committee and was the recipient of the Congressional letter.

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Matille Thebolt (x143), [email protected], at 703-683-5004.

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

Three Dozen Lawmakers Applaud NOM's Efforts to Find the Truth about the IRS; Vow to Continue Fighting to Hold Obama Adminstration Accountable

Three dozen members of the United States House of Representatives signed a letter to the National Organization for Marriage's chairman, Dr. John Eastman, cheering NOM's litigation against the IRS's unlawful disclosure of confidential tax forms filed by the organization.

Congressional Letter to NOM on IRS Case

The letter, dated November 21st, expresses support for NOM's efforts to find the truth. The Congressional members also pledged to continue their work to hold the IRS accountable:

While it is up to the court to determine the outcome of your case, unfortunately your allegation are not unique or even unexpected given the Obama Administration's well-documented practice of using federal agencies to target conservative groups.

[...]

We applaud you in your effort to find the truth about what happened to your donor lists as we in Congress continue fighting to hold the Obama Administration for these abuses of American citizens' constitutional rights.

NOM is very grateful to these Representatives and encouraged by their interest and support! Click here to read the letter in full and to find out if your Representative signed!

Did Your Senators Represent Your Values?

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Last Thursday, the "Employee Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA)" passed in the Senate with a vote count of 64 to 32. The vote followed a weak debate over religious exemptions in the chamber, after the Senate had defeated a proposed amendment offered by Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey that would have expanded conscience protections. Senator Toomey went on after the amendment's defeat to vote for passage of ENDA anyway, along with nine other Senate Republicans!

Make no mistake: ENDA is nothing other than a Trojan horse designed to drive people of faith and traditional values further from the public square in our country.

But don't just take my word for it! Consider this: even the weak religious exemptions which are included in ENDA — which NOM, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Family Research Council, Heritage Action, and many others all consider to be entirely insufficient — are themselves being attacked by some gay activists as too large a concession!

Here's what one editorialist for the Huffington Post's 'Gay Voices' section had to say about these religious exemptions [emphasis added]:

ENDA's religious exemption is clearly from the Stone Age and isn't something we should settle for anymore. [...] The fact that ENDA is unlikely to get a vote in the House gives us a chance to make sure the religious exemption comes out of this bill. That may make it harder to get it passed, and it may take a lot longer, but so be it. [...] We still need full protections in employment, housing and public accommodations, and none should include any religious exemptions.

Of course, "full protections in employment, housing and public accommodations" are legitimate concerns, but ENDA isn't about protecting all Americans, it's about special provisions for a small portion of citizens.

Indeed, the very same writer acknowledges that this Congress's particular version of ENDA (a pot-boiler bill that has been making rounds in Washington for years) is unique: it is "the first Senate vote on employment protections around both sexual orientation and gender identity." And there's the problem.

"Sexual orientation" is a difficult enough term to pin down and define. Depending on which 'experts' one talks to, it's either fluid and flexible along a continuum of behaviors, or it's fixed and immutable. Of course, no scientist has ever identified a "sexual orientation" gene and studies among identical twins find no evidence of sexual orientation being an immutable characteristic. But if sexual orientation is a difficult concept to define, so much more so is the totally amorphous idea of "gender identity." Basically it means that if a man feels like being a woman, he is; but if he later decides he's a man again, he's that. These are dangerously fluid and shifting notions, and hardly the sort of thing one would want to build a law upon — especially a law that can result in real for damage and punishment to others.

It is not difficult to conceive of how individuals or groups could find themselves targeted by frivolous and injurious lawsuits on the basis of such slippery definitions. A person who says in passing at the water cooler at work that she's a believer in traditional marriage could suddenly be accused of engaging in hate speech and even workplace harassment!

It is a travesty that the Senate voted to pass this dangerous legislation, especially with the votes of those who profess to be conservatives. We are grateful that Speaker John Boehner has pledged that the bill won't come to the floor in the House of Representatives, but right now we need to demand answers from our Senators!

Click here to find out how your Senators voted on ENDA and let them know that you either appreciate their opposition to this terrible bill, or are outraged by their extremely misguided support of it!

We can't stand quietly aside when our elected officials cast such poorly-conceived and dangerous votes, passing bills like ENDA that subject individuals, small businesses and religious groups to lawsuits, fines and other punishment over amorphous concepts and feelings that legal and sociological experts can't even agree on. If enacted, this law will quickly become a powerful cudgel for harassing people of faith and for beating back the First Amendment protections we cherish so dearly.

If ENDA passes, you can count on the fact that an enterprising liberal lawyer will soon be using it to argue that state marriage laws are discriminatory and unconstitutional because they violate ENDA's "nondiscrimination" proivsions.

We need to let our Senators know of our disappointment and that we will hold them accountable for failing to represent the conservative values we sent them to Washington to represent!

Click here right away and let your Senators hear from you on ENDA. Let them know where you stand on dangerous bills like this, and make sure they know that you're either pleased with their standing for your rights — or dismayed that they've trampled over them in a stampede for political cover.

If we want our leaders in Washington working for us, and not for the bullies and billionaires with their special interests and pork-barrel promises, then they need to hear from us! Don't miss this opportunity to make your voice heard. Stand up and speak out for marriage today!

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

P.S.: Help us hold politicians accountable with a generous donation to NOM today. Whatever you can give — $50, $100, or even $200 — will enable us to continue to make sure your values are represented in the halls of power and in the court of public opinion. And every dollar you give to NOM between now and the end of the year will be instantly doubled by a generous donor's matching gift. Don't miss this great opportunity — give generously today!

ICYMI: US Catholic Bishops Lend Their Voice to Chorus of ENDA Opposition

In all of the activity last week surrounding the Senate's consideration of ENDA ("The Employee Non-Discrimination Act of 2013"), we forgot to share with you this statement from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Emphasizing the dignity of all people, the bishops quoted Pope Francis’ statement that “Work is fundamental to that dignity.” They added that “the Catholic Church has consistently stood with workers in this country and continues to oppose unjust discrimination in the workplace. No one should be an object of scorn, hatred, or violence for any reason, including his or her sexual inclinations.”

Catholic BishopThe bishops noted, however, that ENDA goes beyond prohibiting unjust discrimination and poses several problems. The bishops explained that the bill: (1) lacks an exception for a “bona fide occupational qualification,” which exists for every other category of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, except for race; (2) lacks a distinction between homosexual inclination and conduct, thus affirming and protecting extramarital sexual conduct; (3) supports the redefinition of marriage, as state-level laws like ENDA have been invoked in state court decisions finding marriage discriminatory or irrational; (4) rejects the biological basis of gender by defining “gender identity” as something people may choose at variance with their biological sex; and (5) threatens religious liberty by punishing as discrimination the religious or moral disapproval of same-sex sexual conduct, while protecting only some religious employers.

Click here to see more from the Bishops' conference regarding their position on this bill, which passed the Senate last week 64-32. Speaker of the House John Boehner has stated firmly that the measure will not be brought up for consideration in that chamber.

National Organization for Marriage Disappointed with Senate Passage of ENDA; Confident Speaker’s Leadership Will Defeat Measure in House

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 7, 2013
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


"ENDA could be a Trojan horse that enables the marriage redefinition agenda to be forced on the entire nation through the courts." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

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Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today expressed disappointment at the Senate's passage of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA), but cited confidence in House Speaker John Boehner's leadership as giving a firm expectation that the measure will be defeated.

"We are very disappointed by the Senate's passage of this bill," said Brian Brown, NOM's President. "While protecting people against discrimination is a very important goal, this legislation is problematic because of its broad and unclear definitions. Concepts like 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity' are too vague to be a basis for such a law which could lead to individuals facing reprisals or even criminal action simply for expressing their values in the workplace."

Brown went on to note that NOM was especially disappointed in the measure's support by several Republican Senators: "We are disappointed with the Republican Senators who voted for this bill for failing to see its dangerous implications for pro-family Americans. Many of these Senators' constituents hold to traditional values like the belief in marriage as the union of one man and one woman, but ENDA could be a Trojan horse that enables the marriage redefinition agenda to be forced on the entire nation through the courts."

While the measure passed in the Senate 64-32, it faces a very difficult road in the House, where Speaker John Boehner has publicly pledged his opposition to the bill and expressed an unwillingness to even take the matter up for a vote.

"We are grateful for Speaker Boehner’s leadership in the House on this issue," said Brown. "He understands the kinds of frivolous lawsuits and bullying through litigation that could come about as the result of such a measure."

Brown expressed hopes that other Republican leaders in the House would similarly announce their opposition to ENDA in order to send a strong signal to the special interest groups lobbying for the bill's passage. "We will be asking all of NOM's supporters to contact the House of Representatives urging that they reject ENDA," Brown said.

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Matille Thebolt (x143), [email protected], at 703-683-5004.

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

The "Non-Scandal" Keeps Getting More Scandalous

You may remember that the mainstream media and liberal politicians began saying several weeks ago that early reports of the IRS targeting organizations and individuals based on political ideology had turned out to be a "non-scandal" - but yesterday's developments as much as anything show that this very real scandal simply cannot be so easily dismissed.

From hearings yesterday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee comes this shocking news, via a headline in the Daily Caller: "White House, IRS exchanged confidential taxpayer info." The Daily Caller reports:

[IRS Official Sarah] Ingram appeared before Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee Wednesday and claimed she could not recall a document that contained confidential taxpayer information.

“Well one of the areas of interest is there’s a significant redaction that quotes the statute 6103. Do you know who is underneath that blackout?” Issa asked Ingram.

“I don’t recall the document so I can’t help you with what’s underneath that redaction,” Ingram said.

“Her response has not put concerns to rest,” Oversight staffer Frederick Hill said.

You can read the rest here.

Understandably so, if the following exchange is any indication of her response:




Meanwhile, NOM is grateful to Representative Issa for his strong leadership on House Oversight and Government Reform to hold the IRS accountable for misconduct and felonious actions, and particularly for his pledge to investigate the leak which resulted in our own confidential tax information getting into the hands of the Human Rights Campaign.

We are also continually grateful to Chairman Camp of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee for his own commitment to securing justice for all those targeted by the IRS and making sure the American people get the answers they deserve about how deep this scandal runs.

Chairman Camp Speaks Up for NOM and All Victims of IRS Abuse

Representative Dave Camp (R-Mi.), the Chairman of the House of Representatives powerful Committee on Ways and Means, issued the following statement in response to the filing of NOM's lawsuit against the IRS:

Dave_CampThe unauthorized release of confidential information is a crime and those affected deserve answers, not the runaround.  What makes the situation even worse is that the law, intended to protect taxpayers, is being used as a shield for those that perpetrate this wrongdoing.  Just last year, the IRS released the confidential taxpayer information of the National Organization of Marriage. These organizations and the American people deserve the truth and the IRS must take serious action to stop the illegal leaking of confidential information.

Chairman Camp and all of our allies in the Congress understand that, no matter our differences, no one should be the target of harassment and abuse of power by government agencies. That is simply not how we do things in America.

NOM thanks Representative Camp for his courageous and steadfast leadership in holding the IRS accountable for abuses of power and identifying those responsible for leaking NOM's confidential donor information.

House Oversight to Investigate "Apparently Politically Driven Leak"

At NRO's The Corner, Eliana Johnson reports that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, headed by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Ca.), will be investigating the politically-motivated targeting of conservative groups by the I.R.S., and particularly the leak of NOM's confidential tax documents to Human Rights Campaign:

Issa and subcommittee chairman Jim Jordan notified Treasury Department inspector general Russell George and Internal Revenue Service acting administrator Danny Werfel in letters dated September 26 that the National Organization for Marriage, the conservative group founded in opposition to the legalization of gay marriage, and a handful of tea-party groups have signed waivers allowing senior stafff on the committee to access their tax return information. “With the authority granted by these waivers,” they write, “we request that you produce all documents and communications referring or relating” to the applications and their review within the agency.

Johnson quotes a statement from Representative Issa that explains the scope of the investigation. According to Issa, "This information will give us a better sense of why these groups faced delays, what questions they were asked, and what sort of communications were occurring within the IRS in regards to the inappropriate delays and the apparently politically driven leak."

We look forward to the Committee's findings.

Important New Legislation Unveiled Today

The Washington Post reports on a new bill called the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act written by Representative Raúl Labrador (R-Id.) and already enjoying support from a bi-partisan coalition including Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Rep. Steve Scalise(R-La.), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ind.) and scored of other co-sponsors.

According to WaPo:

Bride and GroomThe bill... is a "narrowly-tailored piece of legislation" that would protect groups "from discrimination by the federal government," [Labrador] said in an interview this week.

Labrador said he began drafting his proposal partly out of fear that the IRS and other federal agencies might unfairly target groups that oppose same-sex marriage after the Supreme Court struck down a federal law barring same-sex couples from obtaining federal benefit this summer.

According to a press release on his website, Representative Labrador's bill "will ensure tolerance for individuals and organizations that affirm traditional marriage, protecting them from adverse federal action."


Our friends at Heritage will be hosting Representative Labrador for a live-streaming event this afternoon at 1 PM. Also joining in that conference will be Representative Tim Huelskamp, who is leading the effort for a Federal Marriage Protection Amendment. Watch the event live if you can.

And contact your legislators to urge them to support these two important initiaves.

Demand Chairman Camp Subpoena IRS Perpetrators

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

The IRS is back in the news this week, with liberal media pundits trying to downplay charges of political targeting based on alleged new evidence that left-leaning groups were impacted along with conservatives. This new spin might be used to try to convince federal legislators to stop digging into what went on at the IRS during the last election cycle. We can't let that happen.

We need you, no matter where you are, to contact Chairman Dave Camp of the Ways and Means Committee. The Ways and Means Committee has held hearings on the IRS scandal but has not used all their power to resolve this issue. Please call AND email Chairman Camp urging him to make sure this powerful committee subpoenas and puts under oath critical players in this criminal investigation.

Remember, NOM's story with the IRS has always been markedly different from various other accounts of inappropriate political targeting and harassment reported by non-profit groups. NOM and its supporters were the victims of a felony at the hands of the IRS! And yet we still don't have answers as to who was involved and whether justice will be served.

That's why I need you to take this important step today: Email and call Congressman Dave Camp right now, urging him to use the full leverage of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee its subpoena powers to get to the bottom of this outrageous scandal!

No matter what the 'new evidence' touted by the mainstream media may mean for the broader IRS scandal, it certainly doesn't explain away these troubling facts:

  • In March 2012, someone at the IRS leaked the National Organization for Marriage's confidential tax return to the same-sex marriage lobbying group, Human Rights Campaign — and NOM has evidence to prove it.
  • After the leak, the HRC used this document (2008 Form 990 Schedule B) to harass NOM and the dozens of major donors named on the confidential release.
  • At the time of the incident, HRC President Joe Solomnese was serving as a national co-chair to reelect President Barack Obama.
  • To date, the IRS, the DOJ, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) have all failed to bring charges against the individual or individuals who perpetrated this crime, and NOM's frequent demands for information on the investigation have been consistently ignored.

There's no spin cycle that can remove the stain of scandal here. We need answers, and we need them now!

That's why Chairman Camp needs to hear from you right away. Insist that House Ways and Means subpoena Joe Solomnese and other HRC staff for questions about their knowledge of or role in this crime, and demand that IRS officials make a full disclosure of what their internal investigations have revealed.

And this matter is so important that, after you have taken time to email Chairman Camp's office, I'd ask you to pick up a phone and place a call as well. The number for Chairman Camp's office is 989-631-2552.

Remember, NOM's story is not simply about political targeting and inappropriate scrutiny — that would be bad enough! But we were victims of a felony disclosure of confidential documents to a political group known for its aggressive harassment of our organization and its supporters. That sort of thing simply cannot be allowed happen in an agency as far-reaching and powerful as the IRS without serious consequences.

So please email Congressman Camp today, and give his office a call at 989-631-2552. Demand that House Ways and Means get to the bottom of this matter, subpoena those involved, and bring justice to those who broke the law.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

The IRS Must Be Held Accountable

National Organization for Marriage

Tell the Ways and Means Committee to Use Its Subpoena Power to get to the bottom of the IRS Scandal

The National Organization of Marriage has been the victim of a felony in that someone within the IRS leaked NOM's confidential tax return in 2012 to our political opponents. This criminal provided our tax documents, with the names of several donors, to the Human Rights Campaign and the Huffington Post. It is a felony to have provided this information and to have revealed the confidential names of NOM's donors.
Since learning about this, NOM has filed numerous "Freedom of Information Requests" and demanded that the IRS take action against the perpetrator. To this point NOM has received no satisfactory answer from the IRS as to the status of the investigation or even if one is under way.

The scandal made national news when it was also revealed that the IRS inappropriately targeted conservative organizations for particular scrutiny in their applications for tax-exempt status. However, what happened to NOM goes beyond targeting to a felony crime.
Here are several talking points about the scandal; followed by action items NOM has demanded the Ways and Means Committee take to resolve this issue.

Talking points:

  • In March, 2012, someone at the IRS leaked the National Organization for Marriage's confidential tax return — a felony — to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which posted the document on its website. HRC is NOM's principal opponent in the marriage battle and has waged a war of intimidation and harassment against NOM and those active in the effort to preserve marriage. In early 2012, HRC president, Joseph Solmonese, was appointed a national co-chair of the Obama reelection campaign. A few months later, the publication of NOM's tax return occurred.

  • NOM's published Form 990 Schedule B from 2008 contained the identity of dozens of major NOM donors. NOM knows the document was from internal IRS because under a mask that was applied to the document to hide the origin, which computer programs were able to remove, revealed the internal IRS stamp on the document, on every single page in the same location.

  • In early April 2012 after the publication of their tax returns, NOM asked both the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) for investigations. NOM knows TIGTA conducted an investigation, but they never identified the perpetrator of this crime. If charges are brought, federal law requires that the taxpayer be advised.

  • Beginning last August 2012, NOM began filing a series of FOIA and Privacy Act requests with TIGTA and the IRS to try to ascertain the status of the investigation, the identity of the perpetrator, and any information relating to where the decision was made to commit this felony against NOM for obvious political purposes. Those requests have been stonewalled, with the latest non-response response, dated May 3, 2013, claiming that the very same statute that was violated by disclosing our returns shields the identity of the perpetrator as the "subject" of an IRS investigation.

  • The IRS, the DOJ, and TIGTA have not brought charges against the individuals who committed these felonies in over a year, and they are using a convoluted interpretation of the statute prohibiting disclosure to shield the identity of those same individuals from NOM.

Action Items to Demand of Your Congressman:

  • Insist that the House Ways and Means Committee subpoena Joseph Solmonese, and other HRC staff, to determine exactly by what means HRC obtained NOM's confidential donor information

  • Pursue full disclosure from former Acting IRS Commission Steven Miller. Mr. Miller was unable to provide satisfactory answers to the Committee on May 17th. The Committee should pursue the unresolved matters with Mr. Miller.

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice to Deceive: IRS Scandal Expands to Include FEC

Lois LernerLike the proverbial onion, the more layers you pull back the more you discover in the on-going investigation of the IRS and the woman at the center of the scandal: Lois Lerner.

Townhall.com reports on the exclusive news first broken by Eliana Johnson about Lerner’s collusion with an FEC attorney to unfairly target a pro-family group. It’s a formula for government abuse that sounds scarily similar to what IRS did when it illegally released NOM’s private donor information:

In the case of the American Future Fund, Lerner provided confidential information about the aspiring 501(c)(4)'s status—in violation of the law—thereby helping the FEC attorney with an (improper) investigation designed to convince the FEC commissioners to authorize the prosecution of the American Future Fund for violations of campaign finance law (namely, engaging in political activism without registering as a PAC). All this came in the wake of a complaint filed against the American Future Fund by the Minnesota Democratic Farm Labor Party. (Ultimately, the FEC elected not to pursue the case.)
The FEC attorney also sought confidential tax information about the American Issues Project, another conservative organization.

What is most ominous about this development? Hard to decide—but it's disturbingly clear that the lefties embedded in government had few scruples in abusing the public trust (and the public!) improperly to advance a political agenda designed to favor one group of Americans over another. Equally disturbing: They apparently had reason to believe that they could get away with it—or perhaps even be rewarded for it.

You can read more here the latest developments in this scandal here, and please take a moment sign our petition demanding Congress investigate and put an end to these Orwellian tactics.