The head of the anti-gay group Capitol Resource Institute says her organization is in “desperate need” of financial help.
In an email blast Thursday, July 12, Karen England (seen at left), the executive director of the Sacramento-based nonprofit, said, “CRI is going through a very tough time right now and we need your help. The economy has hit our organization very hard. Unfortunately, even though giving is down, our bills have not gone down. We are in desperate need of your financial support. The need is immediate.”
Most recently, England has been best known for backing efforts to repeal the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act, which has also been known as Senate Bill 48 and requires that California school students be taught about the historical contributions of LGBT Americans. Those who want to undo the law have until Monday, July 16 to submit the 504,760 required signatures to the secretary of state’s office for their proposal to go before voters. So far, the anti-gay initiative’s backers haven’t said whether they’ll meet their goal.
Capitol Resource Institute supported the state’s Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban, which voters passed in November 2008. CRI also sponsors events such as City on the Hill Youth Leadership Conference, which is designed for “young people who cherish life, value marriage and family, and treasure religious freedom need to be able to articulate their values and understand how they can be involved in shaping culture,” according to CRI’s website.
Current financial information on the nonprofit wasn’t readily available today (Friday, July 13). CRI’s tax documents for the fiscal year ending in 2009 show the group received $282,465 in contributions and spent $280,364. Of that, $145,565 was for publications and media. England’s compensation was listed as $50,380.
Rebekah Orr, spokeswoman for the LGBT lobbying group Equality California, said in an interview, “Realistically, all nonprofit organizations right now are financially challenged. Equality California certainly is not immune to that. I do think, also, [CRI has] been working on a number of initiatives over the last couple years that increasingly are more and more on the fringe of what average voters support. I would hope that if the organization doesn’t survive, that it’s really a statement about a lack of support for their vision of the world, which is fundamentally anti-LGBT.”
This isn’t the first time England has sent a plea for help, and it’s not clear whether Thursday’s message was a routine attempt to rally supporters.
In a September 2010 email blast, England wrote, “This summer has been one of our busiest and most expensive. … Capitol Resource Institute needs your help to cover the expenses incurred while working on your behalf this summer. We are headed into a very busy fall and need to make sure we are not entering September with a budget deficit.”
England didn’t respond to an emailed interview request this week, but in her message Thursday, she said, “CRI is in need of your donations. This summer has been very difficult for us and now more than ever we need you to express your support for our work through donations. … [W]e are in our hour of greatest need right now.”