President Trump hailed conservatives at the Heritage Foundation known for opposition to LGBT rights Tuesday night as “titans in the fight to defend, promote and preserve our great American heritage.”
“Everyone here tonight understands a core truth, that for America to have confidence in our future, we must have pride in our history,” Trump said. “As Americans, we have inherited a special legacy of freedom, culture, laws, traditions and values.”
Trump also praised the Heritage Foundation for its faithfulness to strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution — often cited as excuse for opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide. “We believe that the Constitution is the greatest political document in human history and that judges should interpret the Constitution as written,” Trump said.
Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a right-wing think tank. Its stated mission is to formulate and promote public policies based on the principles of “free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.
The Heritage Foundation is an aggressive opponent of LGBT equality, having lobbied strongly against protections for LGBT workers and equal marriage.
The group’s website says: [Same-sex marriage] makes marriage primarily about adult desire, with marriage understood primarily as an intense emotional relationship between (or among) consenting adults. This revisionism comes with significant social costs.
“Redefining marriage… will only lead to more broken homes, more broken hearts, and more intrusive government.
It has also pushed the First Amendment Defense Act, a law that would grant religious people an unlimited license to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Heritage Foundation has received funding from organizations with connections to the Koch brothers.
IRS filings released on Tuesday by Freedom Partners, the billionaire Koch Brothers’ super “not-so-secret” tax-exempt organization that serves as a persona; ATM for the GOP and the Tea party shows they contributed millions of dollars to anti-choice and anti-gay organizations in 2014.
Where did the money go you ask?
Well in addition to going to an array of other Koch Brothers network groups like Americans for Prosperity ($16 million), Generation Opportunity (more than $14 million), and the Liberty Initiative ($6.5 million), a good chunk of it went to the very anti-LGBT Evangchr4 Trust, ($5,745,000) a Koch-tied Evangelical Christian pastoral outreach organization that itself gave more than $1.3 million dollars to James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. Also CitizenLink gave $375,000 to the certified anti-LGBT hate group the Family Research Council which is led by white supremacist Tony Perkins.
The group also gave $885,000 for advocacy and another $125,000 for general support directly to CitizenLink — which describes itself as “deeply concerned about the hearts and souls of those who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or ‘transgendered.’” It also sent $225,000 to Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion and anti-contraception organization, and $150,000 to Heritage Action for America.
And despite the fact that David Koch signed onto to an amicus brief supporting same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court.. Neither David Koch or Freedom Partners gave 1 red cent to socially progressive organizations dealing with same-sex marriage in 2014
The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974 by Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries.In July 1976, the name was changed to the Cato Institute.[peace.
INTEREST OF AMICI CURIAE1
The Cato Institute is a non-partisan public policy research foundation dedicated to advancing the principles of individual liberty, free markets, and limited government. Cato’s Center for Constitutional Studies was established in 1989 to help restore the principles of constitutional government that are the foundation of liberty. Toward those ends, Cato holds conferences and publishes books, studies, and the annual Cato Supreme Court Review
SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT
The Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause establishes a broad assurance of equality for all. It guarantees the same rights and same protection under the law for all men and women of any race, whether rich or poor, citizen or alien, gay or straight, Yick Wo. v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 369 (1886), and “prohibits any state legislation which has the effect of denying to any race or class, or to any individual, the equal protection of the laws.” The Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3, 31 (1883). The original meaning of the Clause “establishes equality before the law,” Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess. 2766 (1866), and “abolishes all class legislation in the States,” id., thereby “securing an equality of rights to all citizens of the United States, and of all persons within their jurisdiction.” Id. at 2502. Under the Fourteenth Amendment, no person may be relegated to the status of a pariah, “a stranger to [the State’s] laws.” Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620, 635 (1996). Nor may states deny to gay men or lesbians rights basic to “ordinary civic life in a free society” so as to “make them unequal to everyone else.” Id. at 631, 635. The Equal Protection Clause clearly protects against state-sponsored discrimination, “withdraw[ing] from Government the power to degrade or demean.” United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 2695 (2013). Ignoring the Fourteenth Amendment’s text, its history, and this Court’s precedents, the Sixth Circuit held that the Equal Protection Clause does not apply to state marriage laws because there is no evidence that “the people who adopted the Fourteenth Amendment understood it to require the 3 States to change the definition of marriage.”
Today billionaire investor Paul Singer’s American Unity super PAC plans to donate at least $2M to the campaigns of GOP House candidates that endorse same-sex marriage. Singer as you know has recently been donating heavily to the the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) also. So far in the excess of $3 million dollars to spread the word of marriage equality “Internationally” Unfortunately, there’s a catch. Singer is a progressives worst nightmare. He “virtually invented vulture funds”: a form of speculation that’s one of the worst contributors to Third World poverty ever. Singer is also in bed with the Koch brothers, is anti-union, anti-immigration, and also anti-woman’s choice. And yet HRC has no problem taking his money.
Singer, who runs a hedge fund called Elliott Management (Source: Bitcoin kaufen bei der comdirect Bank), and underwrote last year’s GOP National Convention with $1 million of largesse. One operative called him “the big power broker in the Republican financial world.” The Wall Street Journal wrote that he has given more to the GOP and its candidates—$2.3 million this election season—than anyone else on Wall Street, helping make his hedge fund … one of the nation’s biggest sources of political donations, the vast majority to the GOP.
The New York Times writes that Singer “believes in the doctrine of American exceptionalism and is wary about United States involvement in ‘international organizations and alliances.’” Singer is a nexus of con in neocon and chairs the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank that is “focused on promoting free-market principles” and has a mission to “develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.” (Translation: The rich get richer and the poor die. Who cares?)
“The Manhattan Institute concerns itself with such things as ‘welfare reform’ (dismantling social programs), ‘faith-based initiatives’ (blurring the distinction between church and state), and ‘education reform’ (destroying public education),”
Singer has also ladled at least $3.6 million to the self-styled Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a hawkish outfit which Glenn Greenwald called “basically a Who’s Who of every unhinged neocon extremist in the country.” which has a 10-year history of engaging in alarmist rhetoric and fear mongering including in 2002 FDD airing a series of ads conflating Osama bin Laden, Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein — and helped promote the “Bush doctrine” which led to the invasion of Iraq
Singer has even given sizable sums to the billionaire Koch brothers’ dark-money projects as well as to the Club for Growth, an anti-tax and anti-gay group that has helped tea partiers.
Even New York Times columnist Frank Bruni in what I am sure was an HRC backed fluff piece about Singer showed some underlying misgivings in his “positive” publicity piece of Singer.
Singer is donating millions of dark money dollars to HRC who gleefully accept it, Money that was made Singer’s vulture that funds that starve third world countries – their economies wrecked, their incomes shipped abroad, their resources squeezed and stolen to pay off odious debt. But no one talks about it. Not the LGBT media and obviously not the Human Rights Campaign. The LGBT media is either disregarding or too afraid to talk badly about the HRC and the fact that Singer has donated to and helped bankroll many right wing extremist groups and initiatives that harm many of our allies, ones that we currently work with makes this even more unconscionable.
Is this what our movement has become? Getting into bed with likes of Singer for his blood money? Not caring about more than our issues? Selling out everyone who ever stood besides us?
I SAY NO. And its time that activists and LGBT media stand up and speak out!
If HRC had any shame they would be. And as for integrity its quite obvious that after this they have none.
First HRC tried to change our history. Now they want to sell our souls for for some gold.
It’s time to be done with them. And its well past time they were exposed for money grubbing whores and business that they are.
I just received this Anonymous email:
This morning I saw the story about Paul Singer’s American Unity group giving money to Republicans that support the freedom to marry.
I then noticed you both talking about his funding HRC. I am on staff at Freedom to Marry and while I love the organization I work for, it really bothers me that we too take a lot of money from Paul Singer. I actually think he is our single largest donor. Of course we want more Republicans who support the freedom to marry in office, but I wish Paul Singer wasn’t involved in paying my salary.
The Supreme Court has struck down limits in federal law on the overall campaign contributions the biggest individual donors may make to candidates, political parties and political action committees.
The justices said in a 5-4 vote Wednesday that Americans have a right to give the legal maximum to candidates for Congress and president, as well as to parties and PACs, without worrying that they will violate the law when they bump up against a limit on all contributions, set at $123,200 for 2013 and 2014. That includes a separate $48,600 cap on contributions to candidates.
Calling himself “all for freedom,” Speaker John Boehner (Which linguistically should be pronounced BONER) on Wednesday commended the ruling, saying “donors ought to have the freedom to give what they want to give.” And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, also praised the deciision
“Let me be clear for all those who would criticize the decision: It does not permit one more dime to be given to an individual candidate or a party,” McConnell said Wednesday. “It just respects the constitutional rights of individuals to decide how many to support.”
Responding to the decision, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) spoke out against them who were behind this case and ruling. The Koch brothers.
“The Supreme Court today just accentuated what they did on Citizens United, which is a decision that is one of the worst decisions in the history of that court,” Reid said during a press conference on raising the minimum wage. “All it does is take away people’s rights because, as you know, the Koch brothers are trying to buy America.”
Added Rep. Charles Rangel:
“Today’s flawed SCOTUS decision is simply a threat to our democracy, with absolutely no grounds of justification. It’s a shame that The Supreme Court again decided to open the floodgate of millions of dollars into the electoral process, effectively undermining the power of the people to choose their own elected leaders. Our elections should only be driven by voters who fall within its district. I find it unacceptable and troubling that millionaires and billionaires will be able to influence the polls under the pretext of exercising free speech. We have an obligation to act now to reverse the tide of special interest influence over our political system and to restore transparency and democratic principles into our electoral process.”
Last year former Microsoft programmer and congressional candidate Darcy Burner pitched a seemingly simple idea at Netroots Nation. The creation of a smartphone app that would allow shoppers to swipe barcodes to check whether conservative billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch were behind a product on the shelves.
But what Burner didn’t realize at the time is that a group of developers was hard at work on Buycott, an even more sophisticated version of the smartphone app she proposed.
Buycott is the work of one Los Angeles-based 26-year-old freelance programmer, Ivan Pardo. Once you’ve scanned an item, Buycottwill show you its corporate family tree on your phone screen. Scan a box of Splenda sweetener, for instance, and you’ll see its parent, McNeil Nutritionals, is a subsidiary of LGBT friendly Johnson & Johnson.
You you can also join user-created campaigns to boycott business practices that violate your personal principles rather than single companies and also you can find businesses that have openly backed LGBT rights and initiatives
You can read more about the Buycott app and download it HERE.