Is Exodus a Lobbyist Group?

Timothy Kincaid

August 7th, 2007

Exodus International requests contributions from its supporters by means of its website.  Exodus informs potential donors of the following:

We are a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the state of Maryland. Our tax identification number is 52-1413470.

501(c)(3) status refers to a section of the tax code identifying a specific type of non-profit organization. This status is particularly important because this is what allows contributions to such an organization to be deductible on the donor’s income tax return. It is this distinction that motivates many larger donors to contribute to non-profit charitable religious or educational organizations instead of candidates or political efforts.

Tax deductible organizations are allowed to take positions on cultural issues and can even do some minimal lobbying. They can extol the virtues of conservationism or decry the evils of greenhouse gasses or educate about immigration. But they cannot endorse candidates and they cannot be a lobbyist group.

In general, no organization may qualify for section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). A 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.

An organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.

It is quite clear that Exodus does at this time perform lobbying efforts.  Whether it is a “substantial part” of their organization is a legal question I am not qualified to answer.  However, in general Exodus is allowed to spend about 20% of its budget on direct contact with legislators and about 5% on grass roots efforts.

Exodus may wish to contact its CPA firm to help determine how Amanda Banks’ salary is to be allocated.

See also:

Exodus Sharpens Its Political Presence

Lynn David

August 7th, 2007

Here in Indiana we have the AFA of Indiana which has a separate AFA of Indiana PAC as well. And there have been times that the AFA/IN has made an endorsement, but it is unclear if it is the AFA/IN-PAC which made the endorsement or just the plain, ole AFA/IN. Even if the AFA/IN-PAC made the endorsement instead of its nonprofit sister, it is still a problem because a nonprofit 501(c)(3), unlike 501(c)(4) organizations, are not allowed to form political action committees under federal tax rules.

A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation are sch organizations which are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. But in Indiana the people behind the AFA/IN have been getting away with it for years now. The AFA/IN-PAC has also been busy degrading democrats in Indiana [see: http://advanceindiana.blogspot.com/2007/04/afa-fails-truth-in-advertising-test.html }. Now small groups such as these may be able to get away with it. But I doubt Exodus could.

I wonder, hiring a lobbying firm like the Wabash Group seems to be a way of getting around the idea that they cannot form a PAC. Not exactly the same structure but could have the same effect.

Robguy

August 7th, 2007

I wonder if it would even matter under the current administration.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Pope Francis: Church Must Apologize To Gay People, Others

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1952: Congress Bars Gay People From Immigrating

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1964: "Homosexuality In America"

Today In History, 1965: Gay Rights Advocates Picket the Civil Service Commission

Today In History, 2003: U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Nation's Sodomy Laws

Today In History, 2013: U.S. Supreme Court Declares Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.