Friday, October 15, 2010

Visit to the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace at the Kim Quang Temple - Sacramento

Joe's Weekly Message
Dear Daniel, 

As LGBT people and straight allies observed National Coming Out Day, the so-called National Organization "for" Marriage proved that it's never too early to start celebrating Halloween. And what better way to do so than a masquerade? 

The fringe group, which is known for funneling millions of dollars into anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and anti-equality candidates, also maintains a non-profit arm, the "Ruth Institute," to conduct what passes for education work in their eyes (for the truth about LGBT people and our families, visit our website). 

Under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code, non-profit groups have the privilege of not paying taxes and allowing their donors to deduct their contributions on their individual tax returns. However, in exchange for this privileged tax-exempt status, they cannot endorse or oppose candidates for elected office and must stick to a charitable mission (or, in the Ruth Institute's case, misinformation campaigns). 

As it turns out, the non-profit arm of our favorite falsehood machine is a political entity masquerading as a charitable group. The Ruth Institute is dedicating staff and resources to political campaigns, including:
  • Campaigning to defeat Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality;
  • Campaigning for Carly Fiorina, the anti-LGBT candidate running for Barbara Boxer's U.S. senate seat, including the Institute's president appearing at pro-Fiorina rallies;
  • Participating in California judicial elections.
All of these actions violate federal law. 

Working with the Courage Campaign, we are breaking up their costume party. This week, HRC and the Courage Campaign filed a complaint with the IRS, urging them to investigate the Ruth Institute's illegal political campaign activity, revoke its tax-exempt status and issue an injunction to prevent the Ruth Institute or the NOM Education Fund from committing violations in the future. You can read our release and the full complaint here.
It seems that once again, the National Organization "for" (against our) Marriage prefers politics to education. This year they ought to take a lesson from all of the brave LGBT Americans who live open and honest lives in spite of the lies that groups like NOM throw at us.

Thanks so much.

Joe Solmonese
Joe Solmonese
President, Human Rights Campaign

Via JMG: Feds: You Can Buy Health Insurance For Your Poodle, But Not For Your Partner

All my listservs are blowing up this afternoon with the news that while LGBT federal employees may not purchase health insurance for their partners (thanks to DOMA), they can buy health insurance for their pets. Members of the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan received the below ad today.HRC's Joe Solmonese goes off via press release:
"Current law puts federal workers' parrots ahead of their partners," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "It is time for Congress to act to put people first and extend health care benefits equally to all of their employees." [snip] In fact, 57% of Fortune 500 companies offer domestic partner benefits to their employees. HRC is not aware of any statistics regarding pet insurance offerings by the Fortune 500. The President has instructed federal agencies to "conduct a thorough review of the benefits they provide and to identify any that could be extended to LGBT employees and their partners and families" and some limited benefits have been extended. But because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Congress must pass the Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act to extend critical health care benefits. The President has called on Congress to pass DPBO (S.1102 and H.R.2517) which has been passed in House and Senate committees but awaits floor action.

reposted from Joe

Why Homosexuality Should Be Banned