Citizens for Transparency is a left-of-center LGBT-interest campaign created in November 2018 to target the conservative organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which it accuses of leading “insidious forces against [the LGBT] community.” The campaign is organized in cooperation with other LGBT organizations, including Freedom to Marry, National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLSEN (formerly the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), and former New York City Councilor Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan).
“No Gays Allowed” Billboard
In mid-November 2018, Citizens for Transparency purchased a $90,000 billboard in New York City’s Times Square that read “No Gays Allowed: STOP Alliance Defending Freedom.” This is part of an advocacy effort to falsely accuse the social-conservative legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) of trying to criminalize homosexuality.
Christine Quinn, a New York City Democratic Party politician, was the Speaker of the New York City Council from 2006 to 2013 and an unsuccessful Democratic primary candidate for New York City mayor in 2013. Quinn has been an open ally for the Citizens for Transparency campaign, with the suggestion that Citizens for Transparency’s anti-ADF activism is important and will “start a conversation.”
Evan Wolfson is the founder of the left-of-center organization Freedom to Marry. The Citizens for Transparency campaign spokesman Caleb Cade has publicly identified Wolfson as an ally of the movement.
Kate Kendell is the executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a left-of-center LGBT public interest law firm. The Citizens for Transparency campaign spokesman Caleb Cade has described Kendell as an ally of the movement.
Eliza Byard is the executive director of GLSEN (formerly known as the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network). Furthermore, Byard serves on the board of the gay rights grantmaking organization the Gill Foundation. Byard has been described as an ally of Citizens for Transparency by the campaign’s spokesman Caleb Cade.
According to Caleb Cade, the spokesman for Citizens for Transparency, the campaign is fiscally sponsored by an unnamed 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Cade also states that Citizens for Transparency has allied relationships with several LGBT rights organizations including Freedom to Marry, National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLSN, and the Gill Foundation.
While it has not been specified which specific 501(c)(3) funds the campaign, Citizens for Transparency had at least $90,000 in 2018 to fund the New York Times billboard.