The National Organization for Marriage today released a list of donors to its successful 2009 campaign to overturn Maine’s marriage equality law, revealing that one activist, New York hedge fund manager and social conservative megadonor, almost single-handedly funded the effort.
NOM revealed the source of the $2 million that it funneled to Stand for Marriage Maine to fight the marriage equality law after a court found that NOM had attempted to “shield its donors and skirt Maine’s donor disclosure law.” According to the Portland Press Herald, NOM’s $2 million in contributions made up approximately two-thirds of Stand for Marriage Maine’s budget for the campaign.
According to NOM’s filing, only one major donor to its Maine campaign lived in the state, and $1.25 million of its funding — nearly half of the total ultimately spent by Stand for Marriage Maine — came from Fieler.
We have written in the past about the quiet influence that Fieler is exerting over social conservative causes. His Chiaroscuro Foundation dispenses millions of dollars each year to anti-gay and anti-abortion groups. Fieler is also the chairman of the board of the American Principles Project, a group founded by former NOM chairman Robert George and employing former NOM president Maggie Gallagher that seeks to move Republicans to the right on social issues. In addition to being the major financial backer of APP’s affiliated PAC, Fieler has personally contributed to 77 candidates in 19 states since 2008, according to an RH Reality Check analysis.
Through the Chiaroscuro Foundation, Fieler has also funded the research of Mark Regnerus , author of a discredited study on gay and lesbian parents that continues to be cited by anti-gay activists around the world.
Although NOM’s 2009 campaign was successful, just three years later the statevoted to institute marriage equality. As NOM’s mission has been faltering, so has its fundraising, making Fieler’s one-man social conservative funding shop ever more important for the group and its allies.