Conservatives who believe in fiscal responsibility by the federal government are good at staying informed on where their tax dollars go after returns have been filed with the IRS. Yet, they might not realize that the money they spend on tax preparation software could be funding advocacy that seeks to undermine 1st Amendment freedoms across the country.
With religious liberty battles underway in North Carolina and Georgia, 2nd Vote has identified the business alliances like Equality NC and Georgia Prospers that have stood against basic 1st Amendment protections in those states and engage in misinformation campaign to push the agenda of liberal organizations like HRC.
Another liberal advocacy group with corporate ties is the Out and Equal Workplace Advocates. In 2015, Out and Equal was one of 379 organizations and companies that signed the Obergefell amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn state laws upholding traditional marriage.
However, conservatives should be even more concerned with this organization’s goals beyond same-sex marriage advocacy. Last year, the Catholic News Agencyreported that a speaker at Out and Equal’s annual Executive Forum laid out goals that could be disastrous for religious liberty:
A leader in LGBT grant-making has told business leaders that he wants to shut down the political fight for religious freedom exemptions in the U.S. within three years.
And these words are not empty rhetoric. A CNA investigation has found that millions of dollars have been poured into efforts to combat religious freedom exemptions in the United States.
“We are at a crossroads where the choices we make will mean we will fight religious exemptions for two to three years or have a protracted twenty year struggle on our hands,” Tim Sweeney told leading business executives and others attending the Out & Equal Workplace Advocates executive forum, held in San Francisco in late March 2015.
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Out and Equal has released several several communications over recent weeks advocating against protections for religious liberty in North Carolina and Georgia. A recent blogpost even called on more CEOs and companies to engage in anti-1st Amendmen activism.
Interestingly enough, software developer Intuit, the creator of financial programs like Quicken and, more importantly this time of year, TurboTax, is listed as a “Titanium Level” sponsor of Out and Equal. Out and Equal’s publications indicate that Intuit would have to donate a minimum of $85,000 at the annual “Workplace Summit” to reach this level of support. Also, Intuit is noted as a “Leadership Sponsor” for the Out and Equal’s 2016 Executive Forum.
Intuit’s 2nd Vote score is a 1.8 (Liberal), indicating that the company has a history of liberal advocacy on policy issues. The software developer was also a signer of the Obergefell amicus brief in 2015 that represented direct advocacy for same-sex marriage.
Now, other options for income tax Do-It-Yourselfers do exist with providers whose history of advocacy is more closely aligned with conservative values.
H&R Block earned a 2.9 (Neutral) score on 2nd Vote’s scale. However, H&R Block has endorsed legislation in Missouri that has many similarities to Charlotte’s “Bathroom Bill” and has been opposed by Missouri legislators for placing “employers at increased risk for liability”. 2nd Vote has also found that H&R Block has supported United Way chapters that directly fund Planned Parenthood.
2nd Vote recommends that conservatives wishing to align their dollars with values utilize an income tax preparation service like Jackson Hewitt (3 – Neutral). The research has shown that Jackson Hewitt has not advocated for or against policies on the issues 2nd Vote scores, which means that the dollars spent with this company will not fund agendas that conflict with conservative values.