Gay state official challenges group's 'charitable' status

Monday, December 5, 2016
Steve Jordahl (

IRS gifts to charityState employees in Connecticut could be denied the opportunity to contribute to a qualified charity after the state comptroller became personally offended by the group's biblical stance on marriage.

In a November 30 letter to American Family Association president Tim Wildmon, comptroller Kevin Lembo notes what he calls AFA's "so-called attempts to protect family values." Those include holding to a biblical stance on marriage and several boycotts of companies like Target that champion values contrary to scripture. Lembo writes that those actions are extremely troubling to him as a "married," "gay" man.


Lembo is threatening to kick AFA out of the Connecticut State Employees' Campaign for Charitable Giving (CSEC), even though the Mississippi-based group qualifies as a charity under Connecticut's rules.

Abraham Hamilton III is general counsel and public policy analyst for AFA.

"What's being foisted upon the American Family Association is the latest iteration of If you don't adhere to the nouveaux orthodoxy of the day – which is the sexual deviancy agenda – then you must be castigated and expelled from public life," he tells OneNewsNow.

American Family Association applied for qualified charity status through a group called Neighbor to Nation, which confirmed to OneNewsNow that the pro-family group meets every standard that Connecticut demands of its charities.

In his letter to Wildmon, Lembo states:

"The AFA's statements and mission not only appear to discriminate against the LGBTQ communities ... but it remains unclear what actual charitable services the AFA provides that qualifies it to participate in the CSEC. I am, therefore, initiating an investigation to determine whether AFA is in compliance with the requirements of the CSEC."

Hamilton calls the threat from Lembo an abuse of power. "Because of his personal objections to the American Family Association's stance on issues like marriage and the Target boycott, then he sees fit to threaten us with his governmental position," he states.


Hamilton says the attack by the comptroller of Connecticut is the latest in what he says is a broader war on people of faith.

"This issue ... really brings into focus why a lot of people supported Donald Trump as opposed to Hillary Clinton," says the policy analyst. "People feared the federal government – more specifically the IRS or the Department of Justice – being used as means of cultural and societal intimidation."

American Family AssociationDirect attack ... abuse of power

In an Action Alert to its supporters, AFA calls Lembo's letter "nothing more than an attack on AFA for standing strong for biblical principles." The pro-family group also points out that while the state comptroller suggests AFA may be violating his state's anti-discrimination prohibitions, "the letter never cites any state or federal laws of which AFA might be in violation."

AFA is urging its supporters to contact Lembo and urge him to retract his letter and to "apologize for using the authority of the comptroller's office for a personal grudge."

UPDATE: Comptroller reports office swamped with emails

From 2000-2015, Connecticut employees contributed a total of $124 to AFA through the CSEC program.

Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates

Information about the AFA Action Alert was added after this story was originally posted.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.



We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details




What's your impression of Andrew McCabe?





  Police: 'Empire' actor faked attack to 'promote his career'
Authorities say Alabama woman not a U.S. citizen
Democrats' resolution against Trump emergency coming Friday
  Authorities: Administrator, wife stole $1.2M from church
United Methodists confront possible split over LGBT issues


Your tax refund is less? That's a good thing
Why media buried the Newark schoolyard massacre
Ocasio-Cortez Boyfriend troubles reveal the corruption at the heart of her campaign
Keep hate alive!
Student op-ed: White privilege is real … and you’d better agree!


Cartoon of the Day
Jewish groups slam Kerry's 'anti-Israel vitriol'

John Kerry (sec'y of state)After Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on Wednesday focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, several leading Jewish organizations blasted him, saying his oration was laden with “anti-Israel vitriol.”