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September 13, 2011

Category: Federal Advocacy, Indiana

HRC Condemns Congressional Funding for Indiana Anti-Gay Group

Four GOP Reps. pay anti-LGBT group for “policy training”

9/13/11

Washington – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization – today condemned four U.S. Representatives for using taxpayer money to send staff to a political training run by the anti-LGBT Indiana Family Institute.  According to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, Indiana GOP Reps. Larry Bucshon, Dan Burton, Todd Young, and Todd Rokita all paid from $500 to $1000 from their Congressional office accounts directly to the Indiana Family Institute, which is a state affiliate of the Family Research Council, the anti-LGBT organization classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Typically advocacy groups provide policy advice to Congress for free, rather than shake down Members of Congress to pay for it with public funds.  It’s a disgrace that public money would be put in the hands of an organization so fixated on discrimination,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.  “Instead of cooking up more anti-LGBT federal policies, these lawmakers should be working to create opportunities for all Americans.”

While the payments to the group appear to be a permissible use of the Representatives’ office accounts, they raise questions about the relationship between the Representatives and the extreme anti-LGBT group.  As payment for a “Congressional Policy Leadership Series,” $2,500 was given to the leading group fighting to pass a discriminatory amendment to ban marriage equality in Indiana.  In addition to sending staff to the training, Members have also donated their time speaking to the group.

“Taxpayer money should not be used to fund hate,” Solmonese added.  “While these payments may be legal, they aren’t right.  Representatives Bucshon, Burton, Young and Rokita need to explain their unusual relationships with the Indiana Family Institute and the Family Research Council.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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