Sponsored

Rachel Monahan writes at Willamette Week:

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, one of the largest charities in the Pacific Northwest, gave $375,000 this year to a right-wing legal group that supports North Carolina's anti-transgender legislation. In February, the Vancouver, Wash.-based Murdock trust announced a $375,000 grant to a Scottsdale, Ariz.,-based group called the Alliance Defending Freedom. The group is a conservative Christian nonprofit that's backing laws across the nation to require transgender people to use the bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificates. The North Carolina law, the first in the nation to restrict people from using the restrooms that align with their gender identity, has been widely pilloried as an attack on LGBTQ rights.

The Murdock Trust was founded in 1975, it has over $1 billion in assets today, and it gives out $50 million a year. "The Murdock Trust's website says 'the Trust's mission is to enrich the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest,'" Monahan writes. It's hard to see how financing rightwing hate groups in Arizona and their attacks on trans people in North Carolina (and other states) enriches the quality of life around here. And that $375,000 wasn't the first check the Murdock Trust sent to the ADF, an organization co-founded by rightwing hater/loon/fundie James Dobson. The ADF has received nearly a million dollars from the Murdock Trust over the last decade.

Who is sending all that money to haters?

Two of the trust's three current trustees are Oregonians: John Castles and Lynwood Swanson. The third, Jeffrey Grubb, lives in Vancouver. He's an executive vice president and senior managing director in the Portland Wealth Management Group of banking giant Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo gets top ratings from LGBT groups, markets itself heavily to LGBT consumers, and gets slammed by anti-LGBT bigots. There was a demonstration at a Wells Fargo in Seattle earlier this year to protest the link between the ostensibly LGBT-friendly bank and the funding of anti-LGBT hate groups:

Forty pickets gathered in front of Wells Fargo's downtown Seattle office building January 27, demanding that a top bank executive cut his ties with the Murdock Charitable Trust. According to the Northwest Accountability Project, the group that organized the protest, Wells Fargo exec Jeffrey Grubb also sits on the Murdock Trust's board of directors and helps decide where the trust's money goes. "The Murdock Trust gave $54 million to right-wing extremist groups over the past 10 years," Northwest Accountability Project staffer Heather Weiner told SGN.

Support The Stranger

It's not just the ADF. The Murdock Trust has been pouring money into Focus on the Family, the Heritage Foundation, the Discovery Institute, and "conversion therapy" groups.

How, again, does funding hate and attacks on trans people enrich the quality of life around here?