NYT Columnist Regrets Appearing At Anti-Gay Group’s Fundraiser

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat expressed regret on Wednesday for participating in a fundraiser earlier this month for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit legal group known for its virulent opposition to gay rights.

In an email to TPM, Douthat said he wasn’t aware the Oct. 16 event in Denton, Texas was a fundraiser for ADF and that he will not accept the money he received for speaking at the gathering.

Media Matters reported Tuesday that ADF solicited donations at the conclusion of the event.

“I was not aware in advance that this event was a fundraiser and had I known, I would not have agreed to participate,” Douthat said in the email. “I was invited by an events organizing group, not by ADF directly, and I understood this to be a public conversation about religious liberty. This was my fault for not doing due diligence, and I’ll be declining the honorarium.”

New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal did not respond to TPM’s request for comment.

ADF has a long track record of opposing LGBT equality. As documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Arizona-based group even supported a law in Belize that criminalized gay sex.

Douthat appeared at the event alongside conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt and twin brothers David and Jason Benham, whose planned reality show on HGTV was pulled earlier this year over anti-gay remarks.


Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.