News & Politics

Anti-LGBT Donor Has Ties to White Supremacist and Secession Groups

Activists are pressuring a group opposed to marriage equality to return the cash.

A same-sex marriage proponent is seen holding a gay marriage pride flag in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on November 30.

A man named Michael Peroutka who has been associated with white supremacist and secessionist groups, gave $10,000 to try to fight marriage equality in Maryland, a cause his side lost.

But now the Human Rights Campaign is calling for others involved in that state's fight against marriage equality to give back his donation--and disavow his support for their cause. Among those receiving this pressure? The Catholic Church.

HRC also calls on the Maryland Catholic Conference, which played a leading role in founding the Maryland Marriage Alliance, to publicly denounce Peroutka’s donation. Peroutka is an active member of the League of the South, a neo-Confederate, secessionist organization labeled an “explicitly racist” hate groupby the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).  

Filings made available by the Maryland Board of Elections indicate that Michael Peroutka donated $10,000 to MMA on October 31, 2012.

The Maryland Marriage Alliance was founded and funded by the Maryland Catholic Conference and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). The Roman Catholic Church, along with the Knights of Columbus, contributed almost $425,000 this year to defeat ballot Question 6, with NOM donating $1.2 million.

I love that the HRC is striking while the iron is hot--or while the tide is turning, or whatever metaphor you want to use, pointing out that not only is the anti marriage euqality side starting to lose, but they are also associated with bigotry of the worst kind.

League of the South President Michael Hill has written that white people possess a “God-ordained superiority” and that African Americans “have never created anything approximating a civilization.” Its Florida chapter chairman, Michael Tubbs, is,according to the SPLC, a convicted “Aryan” terrorist who amassed a stockpile of weapons and explosives along with a list of targets including businesses owned by Jews and blacks.

Peroutka appeared along with Hill and Tubbs in front of Confederate flags at the League of the South conference, said that he was grateful for the organization’s endorsement of his fringe 2004 presidential campaign and remarked that “If this be hate, let's make the most of it.” In 2004, he wrote on his blog that “I am proud to be a member of the League of the South. I look forward to receiving the support … from guys with Confederate flags in their trucks.”


Sarah Seltzer is a freelance writer based in New York City. Her work has been published at the Nation, the Christian Science Monitor, Jezebel and the Washington Post. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahmseltzer and find her work at