New LGBT Strategy: Pay Pro-Business Groups to Undermine Conservatives


Over the last few years, a similar sequence of events has become routine whenever state lawmakers try to pass legislation protecting religious liberty or opposing the Left’s gender ideology. First, Democrats, leftist groups and the media immediately come together to vilify the lawmakers in question for daring to oppose the LGBT agenda. And then, invariably, large corporations and business groups release their own statements decrying how such “anti-LGBT” legislation will be bad for the business climate and lead to disastrous economic consequences.

The National Pulse has written previously on the hypocrisy of the “Big Business Democrats,” who now partner with the same corporate leaders they used to (and sometimes still do) denounce in order to steamroll average Americans, many of whom do not subscribe to their leftist worldview.

However, an eye-opening story published by the Washington Times now gives us a further glimpse into the lucrative relationship between LGBT and pro-business groups:

Since the legalization of same-sex marriage in all 50 states, the debate over gay and transgender rights has increasingly been framed in economic terms.

With prodding from the LGBT movement, powerful corporations have threatened to pull business out of states if their desired policy outcomes are not met.

Prominent gay rights organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign and the Gill Foundation, have also quietly poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a network of small-business coalitions that routinely make doom-and-gloom economic prognostications about socially conservative legislation.

Tony McDonald, legal counsel of the conservative nonprofit Empower Texans, said the gay rights movement has relied more on corporate influence to implement its agenda since the legalization of same-sex marriage. Forcing Christian bakers to participate in same-sex weddings and allowing transgender people to use restrooms of the opposite biological sex just don’t carry the same emotional appeal as the fight for marriage equality.

The piece goes on to detail the specifics of this spending. The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, for example, received $100,000 from the Gill (“Punish the Wicked”) Foundation in 2015, the same year they worked to defeat the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. And in Texas, the Keep Texas Open for Business Coalition has received $130,000 from pro-LGBT groups such as the Gill Foundation and Human Rights Campaign to lobby against the state’s proposed transgender bathroom bill. Pro-business groups in Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania have also received significant funding from LGBT organizations.

Conservatives should keep this in mind every time they hear predictions of economic disaster in response to religious liberty or transgender-related legislation. Although the messengers may claim to be supporting the interests of businesses, they may (very likely) have ulterior financial motives as well.

And let this also serve as another warning to conservatives on the issue of political spending: the Left is shoveling untold millions into imposing their extreme social agenda on the rest of the country. Are conservatives ready and willing to fight back?

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post, based on an error in the Washington Times story, mistakenly reported that the Indiana Chamber of Commerce had received a donation from the Gill Foundation. It was actually the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce.

Terry Schilling

Terry Schilling is executive director of the American Principles Project.

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