Fred Karger

Based on a complaint filed by Fred Karger, National Organization for Marriage is again under investigation, this time for violating California campaign finance disclosure laws. Since Proposition 8, NOM has refused to comply with regulations in numerous states. They feel that it is essential to keep the identity of their donors confidential. They might be right. However, they are still obliged to follow the law.

NOM has referred to Karger as  a “serial complaint filer.” Karger wears that as a badge of honor. The reality is that NOM is a serial flouter of the law. It’s organizational hubris.

This complaint stems from NOM’s attempts to repeal a California bill that provides protections for transgender students. NOM created the Privacy for All Students campaign but failed to get sufficient signatures to put the repeal on the ballot.

Karger’s complaint names National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, political director Frank Schubert and seven donors:

  • Sean Fieler, a New Jersey hedge fund operator who contributed at least $200,000.
  • Peterson Holding Company — $10,000.
  • “Thomas,” an investor from San Clemente, California — $10,000. 
  • Andrew & Rebecca Hagelin of Placida, Florida — $25,000.
  • Calvary Chapel of Chino Hills California — $20,000.
  • Pacific Justice Institute, a California-based anti-gay legal group — $10,000.
  • Larry Smith, president of MHI Real Estate — $10,000.

The donors are charged with failing to file required major donor reports with the state. NOM, Brown and Schubert are charged with facilitation as well as failing to file required reports with the state.

This is the sixth state or federal investigation that Mr. Karger’s organization, Rights Equal Rights, has initiated. Some may recall that Karger’s successful action in Maine created the discovery that caused NOM to reveal it’s secret mission plan which included its plans to drive a wedge between the gay and Black communities. NOM is still defying a court order in Maine.

We know from filings in other cases that each time Fred files a complaint it costs NOM tens of thousands of dollars which they could otherwise use for their anti-gay activities. It’s a also a distraction from their day-to-day promotion of homophobia. All that they are required to do is to follow the law just like everyone else.

Apparently the folks at NOM actually believe that they are doing God’s work which exempts them from disclosure regulations. Some might also believe that God guided Justice Kennedy to his conclusions in United States v. Windsor. And what about the dozens of federal and state decisions since Windsor (I have lost count) that affirm marriage equality? Did God have the final word?

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.