By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com May 14 2013 1:27 PM ET
Leaders behind the antigay National Organization for Marriage say there needs to be an official investigation after the Internal Revenue Service was revealed to be targeting conservative groups claiming tax-exempt status.
Lois G. Lerner said Friday that the IRS's tax-exempt division did scrutinize about 75 groups with "tea party," "patriot," "9/12," or other terms popular with conservatives in their names. The extra scrutiny, occurring mostly between 2010 and 2012, delayed tax-exempt status for some groups. IRS officials in El Monte and Laguna Niguel, Calif., and Cincinnati as well as its Washington, D.C., headquarters were involved in sending probing questionnaires to the organizations.
Information about NOM was initially released last year by The Huffington Post and the Human Rights Campaign, showing that Mitt Romney had donated at least $10,000 to the organization in 2008. Upon last week's revelation, NOM called for the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to investigate whether IRS employees leaked the information.
“This is what happens in the Soviet Union,” NOM president Brian Brown told Politico on Monday. “This is not what happens in the United States of America.”