An American group working to protect traditional marriage has been targeted by the country’s tax service – in a set of circumstances described as “chilling”.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is planning to sue the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after it leaked their tax return to its political rival, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
Other socially conservative groups have been targeted for stricter tax investigations, and President Obama has now sacked the IRS’ boss after a report found it had been going on for more than 18 months.
Officials had subjected the groups’ requests for tax-exempt status to extra scrutiny.
Brian Brown, president of NOM, said: “Not only has the IRS retaliated against conservative, small-government and tea party groups as they apply for recognition of tax exemption AND lied about it, but it has criminally released our confidential tax return including the identity of dozens of major donors to a political enemy”.
He also said the president of the Human Rights Campaign, their “principal combatant in the war on traditional marriage”, was serving as a Co-Chair of President Obama’s re-election campaign.
Mr Brown said: “This is a chilling set of circumstances that should ring alarm bells across the nation.”
NOM expects that the ActRight Legal Foundation, the firm representing them, will file a lawsuit later this month.
The USA is awaiting a verdict from the Supreme Court which could lead to marriage being redefined for the whole country.