US anti-LGBT groups 'listed as churches to hide finances'

US anti-LGBT groups 'listed as churches to hide finances'

Anti-LGBT groups are reportedly claiming they are churches (Stock image)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A pair of anti-LGBT groups in America are reportedly posing as churches to hide their financial details.

Pink News claims Focus on the Family and the Liberty Counsel, two of the most prominent anti-gay groups in the country, have both done this.

It is thought the campaign groups should be known to the US Internal Revenue Service as non-profit organisations, which would mean they'd have to hand over their financial documents.

However, campaign group Right Wing Watch claims Focus on the Family is now presenting itself as a church, as ecclesiastical bodies do not have to submit files or make them public.

Right Wing Watch said this status is "puzzling" because the group is involved in political debates.

Meanwhile Liberty Counsel has been known as a “church auxiliary” for over a decade, and is linked to Thomas Road Baptist Church.

This information was obtained through a freedom of information request by the blog Slowly Boiled Frog, which claimed that the groups can operate in secret due to their church status.

David Cary Hart wrote that this "reeks of Christian supremacy" but because Americans "subsidise groups like Liberty Counsel" then "we have a right to know what they took in and how they spent it."

Focus on the Family is against LGBT rights such as gay marriage, transgender recognition and same-sex adoption. It is also said to support a "gay cure."

Liberty Counsel is said to be against anti-discrimination laws that include LGBT people, and it also facilitates legal representation for Christians who won't serve gay people at work.