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Newt Gingrich Secretly Funneled $350,000 To Anti-Gay Hate Groups Last Year

Newt Gingrich Secretly Funneled $350,000 To Anti-Gay Hate Groups Last Year

Last year, former Speaker Newt Gingrich offered his vocal support for the ultimately successful campaign to oust three of the nine Iowa Supreme Court justices who had unanimously ruled in favor of marriage equality. As Gingrich courts social conservativeswhile exploring a possible presidential bid, new disclosures from his camp indicate that he and his associates bankrolled more than one-third of the $850,000 campaign to remove the Iowa justices.

ThinkProgress previously reported on $200,000 that Gingrich funneled from an anonymous donor to the anti-marriage equality group Iowa for Freedom, which was also being funded by AFA Action, the political arm of the virulently anti-gay American Family Association. The Associated Press revealed yesterday that one of the cogs in Gingrich’s vast network of business enterprises and front groups, ReAL Action, provided $125,000 to AFA Action. The Des Moines Register reported this morning that ReAL Action also contributed $25,000 to yet another Iowa anti-LGBT group, the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition.

AFA is not only of the nation’s most prominent anti-LGBT groups, it has been officially labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. As ThinkProgress has reported, the AFA is known for making incendiary comments about gays, including blaming gays for crop failure and various other biblical plagues, claiming that Hitler was gay, saying lesbians can’t be justices, equating gay sex with domestic terrorism, and equating gay sex to heroin, just to cite a few examples.

Gingrich’s tacit support for these radical views would not seem to be in question, as his spokesman went to great pains to explain that the grant to AFA Action was for “general support,” noting:

“We leave up to the groups receiving the money to determine how they would spend the money.”

While those who fought to retain the Iowa justices question why Gingrich had previously kept his financial support for the anti-LGBT groups secret and is only now acknowledging it as his possible 2012 bid ramps up, Gingrich’s spokesman said that there was no connection between his support for the Iowa groups and his possible presidential ambitions. This assertion seems highly questionable considering the leader of last year’s anti-marriage equality campaign against the three justices, Bob Vander Plaats, is an Iowa political kingmaker who now heads the FAMiLY Leader, a radical anti-LGBT organization that is hosting an ongoing Presidential Lecture Series that ThinkProgress has been attending and reporting on. Gingrich himself is scheduled to appear before the group on July 11.

And while some have pointed out that Gingrich’s multiple patriotism-inspired adulterous affairsmight present a problem for socially conservative GOP primary voters, Gingrich-funded Vander Plaats seems unconcerned. He told the Los Angeles Times that Gingrich “had won over pastors in [Iowa] with his ‘open and transparent’ approach” and that Christian conservatives “understand that we all fall short of the standards” they set for themselves.

It remains to be seen whether Gingrich’s funding of virulently anti-LGBT hate groups will pay political dividends outside the small group of overwhelmingly white, socially-conservative voters that determine the winner of the Iowa caucuses.

This post appeared on Think Progress.

 

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Photo by Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons
By Josh Dorner

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90 comments

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7:54PM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

And here I always thought he was the poster boy for the Log Cabin Republicans. Have not heard much from them as of late.
People usually don't like what they don't understand and fear what they don't like. And when confronted usually "fight or flight" kicks in around the corner or in an alley.

7:55PM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

Go to YouTube and watch "The Ally Effect". This young coach is amazing and is going to help bring a brighter world for all gays.

11:44AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

For that he should be jailed..!!!

3:57AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

I have never understood homophobia - is it just because it is something different and difficult for heterosexuals to understand or is it something else?? And how does it matter what other people are up to sexually as long as it is consenting adults? Such hate is pathetic...

10:48PM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

This is one reason the U.S. is in a recession...poor spending. It is so sad that he wastes money spreading hate...WHAT A HATEFUL MAN. That money could of been used to feed homless people or help abused children. Spreading hate is bad Karma.

6:07PM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

Why? Just to be cruel? Gay people are born gay. They just don't realize it until puberty begins, and are fearful because they know about social attitudes, resentment, and cruelty. We must try to be kinder. I am not gay and know very few gay people, but like the ones I do know. I find them kind, helpful, creative and generally an asset to our society. So, stop being mean, already.

9:30AM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

who is margaret davies talking about? I'm confused.

7:46AM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

My, what a surprise! Just kidding. What do you suspect from an ignorant bigot like Newt & the American Family Assn, which certainly doesn't help families by persecuting their LGBT children. Just think of all the good all that money could have done if put to good use fostering tolerance, fighting cancer, providing scholarships to kids who can't afford to go to college, buying food for a food bank, helping clean up after the Japanese tsunami & house the homeless people & suffering animals? There is so much that money could have done other than fostering hate, bigotry, ignorance, division, discrimination etc. & they probably all claim to be devout followers of Jesus, the Prince of Peace & the God of Love while spewing the old tribal stupidity of Moses instead, as this ilk usually does. What century is this anyway? Why do these people oppose Sharia Law when they promote its tenets through their very actions like this?

3:01PM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

I truly believe that Republicans like Gingrich like to stoke the fire of discontent. I have had talks with those who are homophobic types who don't act with their brains and have formed opinions that are neither conservative or liberal in their ideals, but hate. Hate overcomes without any chance for people to react mindfully. That is our nation present status amid the countless crisises that are occuring. The more problems we will see from the extreme right wing will be the the method or modus operandi in which the Republican right, use. They have plenty of foundations in which to spread their agenda. The sad part about such a situation is the agenda of hate is contagious as much of their mindlessness further polarizes their beliefs to discard any progressive ideas. Furthermore, it allows the status quo of the elitists to retain power. These are things that kept the white male, wealthy, ivy leaguers in power for so long. The gradual change came within the whites to religion, then eventualy to race. The gender aspect, and somewhat sexual preference seem to be last in power bases. Unfortunately, many do not see it as a power struggle. It is purely a power struggle for which many Americans are presently losing their battles. It shouldn't be a battle of sexual preference, but a battle against those who seek continual power by using anti-LGBT issues as a method to retain power as in many of it's other agendas.

1:47AM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

You're all hate-mongering, pea-brain weasels! ! !

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Judy Molland An award-winning writer and teacher, Judy Molland is also an avid hiker, backpacker, and nature... more
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