US tax service admits leaking marriage group donor lists

The US tax authority has finally admitted wrongdoing in leaking the confidential donor lists of a pro-traditional marriage group, after a lengthy legal battle.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) sued the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after their tax return was leaked to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a pro-same-sex marriage group.

The IRS has agreed to pay NOM $50,000 to settle the lawsuit, after investigations revealed that NOM’s 2008 tax return and list of major donors was released to Matthew Meisel, a homosexual activist in Boston, who then passed the information to HRC.

Illegal

John Eastman, NOM’s chairman, said: “It has been a long and arduous process to hold the IRS accountable for their illegal release of our confidential tax return and donor list, which was ultimately given to our chief political rival by the recipient”.

HRC campaigns for the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples, whilst NOM supports keeping marriage between one man and one woman.

“In the beginning, the government claimed that the IRS had done nothing wrong and that NOM itself must have released our confidential information”, said Eastman.

Confidential

“Thanks to a lot of hard work, we’ve forced the IRS to admit that they in fact were the ones to break the law and wrongfully released this confidential information.”

Eastman added that NOM is calling for further investigation, saying: “While we are very pleased that the IRS has been exposed as being responsible for this leak of our confidential information to our political opponents, we believe the IRS may still be hiding information from the American people”.

Earlier this year the CEO of Mozilla was forced to step down after it was revealed he had donated $1000 (£600) to a Californian campaign to support marriage between one man and one woman.

Criticism

Brendan Eich, who co-founded Mozilla and created the JavaScript computer language, was subject to a campaign of criticism and calls to step down.

But a number of media commentators in the UK defended Eich, with one newspaper columnist warning of a culture of “ideological intolerance”.

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