By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com December 06 2012 4:18 PM ET
The group that opposed marriage equality in Maryland is accused today of taking thousands of dollars from a donor "active in white supremacist, secessionist causes."
The Maryland Marriage Alliance, which is backed by the National Organization for Marriage, was significantly out-fundraised in its failed attempt to block a marriage equality law. And the Human Rights Campaign says records show the Alliance accepted $10,000 from Michael Peroutka, who it notes is a proud member of the League of the South.
The group has been called “explicitly racist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which also labeled the League a “hate group.” Peroutka has denied he's a white supremacist, according to The Baltimore Sun, but he has spoken at the League's conferences in 2012, 2010, 2008, and 2004.
HRC called on the Alliance to return the $10,000, and it linked its accusation to a "racially divisive" pattern of behavior from NOM, its main backer.
"NOM is no stranger to exploiting race as a means of advancing its agenda," HRC said in a statement, noting that the antigay group's leaked strategy documents included a plan to "drive a wedge between gays and blacks."
The Maryland marriage equality law is already beginning to take effect, as same-sex couples could obtain marriage licenses today, and weddings can begin on January 1.