Several conservative groups testified Tuesday before the House Ways and Means Committee about their mistreatment by the IRS. The National Organization for Marriage sent Chairman John Eastman to speak about their leaked tax forms from last year, even though that has nothing to do with the current “scandal” regarding extra scrutiny for Tea Party-affiliated groups. Despite the fact that over a year has passed since the leak, NOM is capitalizing on the current news by using the threat of an IRS lawsuit to fundraise, though no suit has been filed.
At the hearing, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) called out NOM for hiding its political donors, pointing out that nothing about what NOM advocates constitutes “social welfare.” Eastman responded that it was “preposterous” to suggest NOM’s position “doesn’t qualify for defense of the public good.” Blumenauer took to the Huffington Post just after the hearing to address the matter, reminding of NOM’s race-baiting strategies:
To Dr. Eastman, I say that it is the denial of my constituents, and all Americans, the right to marry the person that they love is preposterous. To exploit racial and religious differences so you can fund raise for and enforce your specific worldview is preposterous.
But your right to be preposterous should not extend to taking political positions under the guise of a social welfare organization, raising money and campaigning.
During the hearing, an agitated Eastman claimed that NOM’s donors had to be kept hidden because people fear harassment. In fact, some people have been afraid to donate to NOM in fear of being held accountable through business boycotts and other political actions. In other words, NOM’s donors simply don’t have the courage of their convictions and would prefer to campaign against LGBT equality in secret. Watch a clip of Eastman’s response to Blumenauer (via Towleroad):