By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com January 24 2012 4:04 PM ET
Tax returns unveiled by Mitt Romney today show contributions to two antigay organizations, including one that campaigned against a transgender rights bill by implying trans people are sexual predators.
The Human Rights Campaign points out a report by CNN that says Romney's charitable foundation gave at least $35,000 to antigay groups in 2010, with $10,000 going to the Massachusetts Family Institute, which ran radio ads last year warning parents that a transgender civil rights bill could lead to all manner of danger in bathrooms.
One woman said in a radio ad that if the legislation passed (which it did), she wouldn’t let her daughter use the restroom alone anymore. And the group's website showed a restroom door with the provocative message, “Who’s going to be waiting for your wife and daughter?”
The Massachusetts Family Institute is perhaps best known for sponsoring a 2007 anti–marriage equality amendment, which failed to get on the ballot in that state. Romney was governor there from 2003 until 2007 and opposed same-sex marriage.
CNN reports that another $25,000 from Romney's foundation went to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The fund is well known to LGBT activists for defending the Mormon Church when it was discovered to have financially backed Proposition 8 in California.
It placed a full-page ad in The New York Times defending the church.
“The violence and intimidation being directed against the LDS or 'Mormon' church, and other religious organizations — and even against individual believers — simply because they supported Proposition 8 is an outrage that must stop,” the ad read, according to Truth Wins Out, which said the ad was filled with lies.
The Times reports that tax returns from Romney, who is a Mormon, put him in the top one-10th of 1% of all taxpayers in 2010. He tithed regularly, the Times reports, supplying more than $3 million in 2010 alone to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Romney's contributions don't match with his recent assertion during a debate that he doesn't discriminate, the HRC says. When a moderator in New Hampshire asked how he'd fulfilled his pledge to LGBT voters while running for Senate that he would be an advocate for their rights, Romney took what appeared to be an unequivocal line on discrimination.
"If people are looking for someone who will discriminate against gays or
who will in any way try to suggest that people that have different
sexual orientations don't have full rights in the country, they won't
find that in me," Romney said, declaring, "I don't discriminate."