By Fred Karger

The LGBT community and everyone who cares about fairness and equality face four crucial votes next Tuesday in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington State. All four elections are the doing of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

NOM has an unlimited amount of money at its disposal and is hell-bent on hurting millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans every conceivable way possible, especially at the ballot box.

In 2009 the Maine State Legislature passed and the Governor signed a historic bill allowing marriage equality in the Pine Tree State. On the first day possible NOM hired professional signature gatherers to qualify a referendum to repeal it. NOM was successful.

This year, as soon as Washington and Maryland passed marriage equality, NOM hired professional signature gatherers in both states to place referenda on their November ballots to repeal those newly passed laws.

In Minnesota, NOM lobbied heavily and got the State Legislature to place a Constitutional Amendment on its November 6th ballot to enshrine discrimination into that state’s Constitution banning gay marriage there.

The fourth state voting next week on the freedom to marry is Maine once again. This time the LGBT community placed Question 1 on the ballot to overturn NOM’s last vote and finally allow gay marriage to be the law just as it should have been three years ago.

NOM Cost Us Dearly

So NOM has cost the LGBT community and our friends at least $30 million and counting in these four states this year alone. NOM heads Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown are determined to fight equality every step of the way, no matter what the cost or the consequences. Once again they appear to be getting off scot-free in their never ending attempt to demonize and harm the LGBT community, whose only desire is to have the same marriage rights as their brothers and sisters, friends and relatives and to be able to marry the person they love.

NOM Under Investigation in Two States for Election Irregularities

The Maine Ethics Commission has been investigating NOM for over three years on a complaint that I filed against them for money laundering in the election of 2009. In spite of federal and state lawsuits filed by NOM to try and stop that investigation, NOM has lost its battle to break state election laws and not disclose its donor’s names. Earlier this month the United States Supreme Court denied NOM’s second appeal to skirt the Maine law, yet NOM refuses to obey this ruling and continues to hide the identity of its donors. Just who are they trying to protect?

In 2008 NOM raised $345,000 including $10,000 from Mitt Romney to qualify and pass California’s Proposition 8 and did not disclose this money at the time. The California Fair Political Practices Commission has been investigating NOM on those charges I filed as well.

This very shady organization that sprung up out of nowhere just five years ago to do battle against the LGBT community has raised and spent tens of millions of dollars and is at it again. NOM is determined to destroy lives and while doing so, do everything in its power to avoid the very election laws of transparency put in place to protect us.

We should be angry and fight back against NOM with all our might.