This morning, the Center for American Progress released a 130-page report revealing that more than $42 million from seven foundations over the past decade have helped fan the flames of anti-Muslim hate in America. These foundations rely on social conservative groups to echo their message, and some have spent years channeling dollars to anti-gay groups responsible for injecting homophobia into the nation’s politics and culture.
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, for instance, donated more than $5 million to spreading Muslim hysteria and spent untold millions developing arguments that are spouted off by today’s anti-gay conservative organizations. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the Eagle Forum, and the Institute for American Values and the Ethics and Public Policy Center have all benefited from Bradley dollars, channeling the money towards opposing marriage equality laws, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, greater employment protections for LGBT people, and other human rights initiatives.
In fact, Bradley’s “philanthropy” is at least partly responsible for developing many of today’s anti-gay arguments and the hysteria surrounding the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s:
In 1983…the Free Congress Foundation [a Bradley benefactor] began looking for “researchers” to fund and create literature to back up the wild accusations which were creating hysteria and expanding their power base with the outbreak and spread of AIDS (this before HIV was even discovered). Such “researchers” as Paul Cameron were lauded and drove to create “ex-gay” organizations and propaganda….Paul Cameron was later kicked out of the American Medical Association in 1983 for fraudulent “research” on homosexuality in which his wild claims, based on inaccurate re-working of legitimate studies by other researchers, where undertaken in the association with and were funded, published and disseminated with FCF backing.
Also in 1983 Free Congress Foundation’s “Senior Contributing Scholar,” Father Enrique Rueda a far-right radical Catholic priest, wrote “The Homosexual Network.” under the sponsorship and direction of Weyrich and the Free Congress Foundation This work by Rueda, is the first claim and publication of “The Gay Rights Platform” in which he actively works to instill fear in the reader through anti-gay opinions and manipulation of the truth and citing numerous uncorroborated sources and claims. To get a tenor of what he writes he opinions, “once you understand the agenda of the homosexual movement, you will probably perceive it as a terrible threat — to ourselves, our children, our communities, our country.”
The funding helps explain why some single-issue conservative groups also spout an Islamophobic message. Just yesterday, NOM’s Brian Brown sent out a fundraising plea accusing LGBT-activists of issuing a “fatwa” and waging “Jihad.”
Read the full report here.