A taxpayer-funded organization in Tennessee apparently hosted an event that featured a drag queen.
The Tennessee Star received a photograph of the event, which clearly featured a sign for the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. Members of the organization apparently held the event in July at the Cool Springs Marriott in Franklin.
The Star sent detailed questions asking about the event to the group’s Executive Director Kathy Walsh.
In an emailed statement, however, Walsh chose not to answer our questions, and she instead referred us to the group’s website and said it is “the leading voice for survivors of rape and abuse.”
According to the group’s website, the organization ” is funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee, Finance and Administration, Office of Criminal Justice Programs.”
Finance and Administration spokeswoman Lola Potter told The Star in an emailed statement that her department has awarded more than $1.4 million of taxpayer money to the group during the past three fiscal years.
Potter went on to say that group members use this taxpayer money to help immigrant victims of domestic assault, dating violence, and stalking.
The money also pays for a “training grant to address cultural competency and inclusiveness with domestic and sexual violence service providers,” Potter said.
The Star asked Potter if her department has any stipulations or requirements for how recipients spend that money.
“Yes, for each contract for the designated projects listed above, funds are used for associated expenses to carry out that project and must comply with state and federal requirements,” Potter said.
Potter also said that the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence has accepted taxpayer money since at least 2013.
According to the group’s website, the organization is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is classified as a public charity under section 509(a)(2).
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