The Georgian Senator Kelly Loeffler faces a backlash over the nature of the charitable and philanthropic organizations to which she donated a portion of her fourth quarter salary.
When she was appointed last year, the Republican congresswoman, who is campaigning to defend her Senate seat against Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock in the upcoming runoff elections in Georgia, promised to divide her quarterly income among organizations of her choice.
With an estimated total net worth of about $800 million between her and her husband Jeffrey Sprecher, Loeffler is the wealthiest person in Congress.
Criticism of Loeffler’s donation preferences began circulating on Thursday after initial reports from Buzzfeed News indicated that the senator had split last quarter’s congressional salary among several anti-abortion organizations and an anti-LGBTQ adoption agency.
The agency’s report indicated that during the second half of the current fiscal year, Loeffler donated $3,800 to the agency, called Covenant Care Adoptions, and $26,600 to clinics to discourage women seeking abortions.
Loeffler’s office publishes quarterly announcements with information about the organizations she wishes to donate to. The most recent announcement was published on November 24 and included the names of 10 organizations based in Georgia, each of which received $3,800 of their Senate salary for the fourth quarter. Loeffler earns about $38,000 per quarter.
“Loeffler has donated her salary for all four quarters of this year in accordance with her pledge to donate her Senate salary to charitable and non-profit organizations,” the announcement said, referring to those selected as “organizations that help those in need throughout the state of Georgia.
Covenant Care Adoptions, a non-profit Christian adoption agency based in Macon, Central Georgia, ranked fourth on the list of recipients of the Congressional Office’s donations. The organization facilitates local adoptions and offers counseling services to participating families.
Their “creed”, which can be found next to the online description of services and the group’s mission statement, contains blatant anti-LGBTQ language and confirms that only heterosexual couples of the same sex are allowed to adopt through the organization. The creed outlines the requirements that determine whether potential clients are eligible to work with Covenant Care.
“We believe that the term ‘marriage’ has only one meaning: the union of a man and a woman in a single, exclusive union as described in the Holy Scriptures,” states an addendum to the Creed entitled “Declaration on Marriage, Gender and Sexuality.
Later it cites “homosexual conduct” and “bisexual conduct” as examples of “sexual immorality”, which the organization describes as “sinful and offensive” and against its beliefs. Sodomy and incest follow on the list of examples. The Addendum also clearly expresses transphobic views.
Loeffler donated $3,800 of her Senate salary for the fourth quarter to Covenant Care Adoptions, an agency that denies services to LGBTQ individuals and prominently mentions discriminatory language in a statement setting out eligibility criteria for potential clients.
The level of awareness of the Georgian run-off candidate regarding the organization’s anti-LGBTQ stance is unclear. Washington Newsday asked Loeffler’s campaign for a comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.