US: IRS pays $50,000 to anti-gay group NOM to settle lawsuit

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The IRS will pay $50,000 in damages to the anti-National Organisation for Marriage, to settle a lawsuit over the leak of the group’s donor details.

NOM – which lobbies against legal rights for gay people – filed the lawsuit alleging that in 2012, the IRS disclosed details of donations from a political action group linked to then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Following disclosure, the information was subsequently revealed by the Human Rights Campaign.

NOM had claimed that the leak was politically motivated and deliberate, but US District Court judge James Cacheris ruled earlier this month that NOM had “failed to produce a shred of proof” for the claims.

However, the IRS has since agreed to pay the group $50,000 (£29,400) to settle damages caused by the disclosure.

NOM has long fought to keep its list of donors secret, alleging that people and organisations who donate to the group would face ‘harassment’.

NOM chairman John Eastman claimed: “It has been a long and arduous process to hold the IRS accountable for their illegal release of our confidential tax return and donor list, which was ultimately given to our chief political rival by the recipient.

“Thanks to a lot of hard work, we’ve forced the IRS to admit that they in fact were the ones to break the law and wrongfully released this confidential information.”

IRS spokesman Bruce Friedland said: “Privacy law, specifically Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code, prohibits us from commenting.”