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Concern over Prop 8--questions

Since you all don't know me, I will state that DH and I are both conservative Christians (DH is a minister)--but we both support/voted No on Prop 8-we support gay rights because we feel it is not right to legislate our beliefs/values.  

I was watching the news tonight and heard the tailend of a story so I can't be sure that I heard everything correctly, but, I heard reference to the anti-prop 8 movement bringing a lawsuit to the Mormon church because they supposedly violated rules by donating money to the Yes campaign (which they dispute and say was donated by individuals, not the church as a whole). However, what concerned me was that they mentioned attempting to revoke the Mormon church's tax exempt status. My huge concern over this is not that I think the Mormon church was correct (on the contrary)---but my concern is that this seemed to be one of the biggest fears and reasons that people felt like they needed to vote Yes. And my understanding was that this (along with education in schools) was never an issue with Prop 8. And the No campaign was constantly in a battle trying to reassure that church's tax exempt status would never be in jeopardy and marriage in schools was not an issue in this prop.

It seems to me like a lawsuit against a particular church would actually be a huge step in the WRONG direction for No on Prop 8---because now I believe a big portion of that 52% of California voters will feel like they were correct in thinking that their church's tax status might be in jeopardy if Prop 8 is defeated---and furthermore, this may put doubt in people's minds about the education issue as well. Do you see what I mean?

Does anyone else have any more information on this? I hope what I am saying makes sense--it's late. But I wanted to put this out there before I forget!

image Emily 7-10-04
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Re: Concern over Prop 8--questions

  • i think you're jumping to conclusions here.?

    the "No on 8" supporters are challenging the LDS church's tax exempt status because they entered into and encouraged their congregations to vote a particular way. ?Which is illegal and can result in the removal of their status as a tax exempt institution.

    this won't affect other houses of worship unless they got in the middle of what the No on Prop 8 groups see as a political issue and political posturing from the pulpit. ?

  • Ditto PP. The tax exemption is being questioned because they appeared to become a political entity with their support for Prop 8.
  • The problem with this whole lawsuit is that there's no law that says that churches can't throw their full support behind issues, and encourage their congregations to vote/donate/etc. in a certain way. ?A tax exempt church can't endorse or support a candidate, but prop 8 wasn't a candidate.

    http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=161131,00.html?

    ?

    7/21/2007 :)

    imageimageimage



    Deductive reasoning isn't a conservative or liberal attribute. ~epphd
  • image katorigasuki:

    i think you're jumping to conclusions here. 

    the "No on 8" supporters are challenging the LDS church's tax exempt status because they entered into and encouraged their congregations to vote a particular way.  Which is illegal and can result in the removal of their status as a tax exempt institution.

    this won't affect other houses of worship unless they got in the middle of what the No on Prop 8 groups see as a political issue and political posturing from the pulpit.  

    So Rev. Wright and the Trinity Church will lose their tax exempt status as well?  Are there other churches that advocate for a particular candidate for office, from the pulpit or otherwise?

  • Churches and nonprofit organizations that have tax deductible status are 501(c)3 organizations under the IRS tax laws. ?This tax status allows contributors to these organizations to get a tax deduction - making it much easier for them to raise money.

    As part of this IRS code, these organizations are restricted in the activities that they are allowed to do. ?They are not allowed to endorse candidates, endorse positions on any ballot measures, lobby legislators on any bills that are being voted on. ?If they step over the line, they put their tax-deductible status on the line. ?The churches, the pastors, the staff know these restrictions.

    Until now, there has been few repercussions for violating their tax status. ?Many religious leaders have preached how their churches should vote on initiatives and candidates. ?For that, they risk losing their tax status.

    All Saints Church in Pasadena was threatened by the IRS for preaching against the Iraq war. ?They did not lose their status because they were not lobbying or endorsing candidates or initiatives. ?

    However, if the Mormon church has violated their tax status, they should absolutely lose their 501(c)3 status. ?It seems that some of their involvement comes very close to violating the tax law, and if they have the IRS should revoke their status. ?

    The church should be protected from violating the law for any reason. ?Laws are in place for everyone to follow - you don't get a pass because you're a church.

    IVF w/ ICSI #2 - fraternal twins born December 2010 at 36 weeks.
  • image debJustDeb:

    So Rev. Wright and the Trinity Church will lose their tax exempt status as well?? Are there other churches that advocate for a particular candidate for office, from the pulpit or otherwise?

    I don't know the specifics of their actions. ?

    Any individual may speak on their own behalf to endorse whatever view they would like. ?So, if Wright was speaking out of church about his personal preference for candidate, he is allowed to do that.

    But 501(c)3's they cannot instruct their followers to Vote for _____ or Vote Yes/No on ____.?

    I would encourage the IRS to investigate all churches of any reported violation of their tax status. ?Personally, I don't think any church/synagogue/etc. should be tax exempt.?

    IVF w/ ICSI #2 - fraternal twins born December 2010 at 36 weeks.
  • The tax-exempt issue the Yes on 8 campaign tried to argue - that churches would lose their status for not marrying same-sex couples - is completely separate from this lawsuit. Churches refuse to marry people every day for a whole host of reasons and no one is allowed to challenge their tax-exempt status. The CA supreme court decision that legalized same-sex marriage specifically protected church's rights to continue this selectivity.

    However, I think the lawsuit against the Mormon church campaigning for Prop 8 is far from a slam dunk (see above issues about campaigning for politicians vs. issues, and the precedent of lax enforcement), and I agree that it does more harm for the same-sex marriage cause than good. People will see it as targeting churches, regardless of the actual facts. 

    imageimageBaby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • image Pescalita:

    The tax-exempt issue the Yes on 8 campaign tried to argue - that churches would lose their status for not marrying same-sex couples - is completely separate from this lawsuit. Churches refuse to marry people every day for a whole host of reasons and no one is allowed to challenge their tax-exempt status. The CA supreme court decision that legalized same-sex marriage specifically protected church's rights to continue this selectivity.

    However, I think the lawsuit against the Mormon church campaigning for Prop 8 is far from a slam dunk (see above issues about campaigning for politicians vs. issues, and the precedent of lax enforcement), and I agree that it does more harm for the same-sex marriage cause than good. People will see it as targeting churches, regardless of the actual facts. 

    I agree with what Pesca has written here.

    And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.
  • Maybe overplaying their hand?  Especially given the President and Vice President elects don't support gay marriage themselves.  Will John Aravosis accuse Obama and Biden of hate speech?

    Tonight's demonstration in Salt Lake City followed a similar protest Thursday at the LDS Temple in Westwood, Calif., near Los Angeles. Now several national gay activists have proposed boycotting Utah and challenging the LDS Church's tax exempt status.

    "The main focus is going to be going after the Utah brand," John Aravosis, an influential Washington, D.C.-based blogger, told the Associated Press. "We're going to destroy the Utah brand. It is a hate state.

    Salt Lake City Tribune article here.

  • Obama was opposed to Prop 8.

    Obama supports abortion rights, but does not endorse abortion.

    Obama supports gay rights, but doesn't endorse gay marriage.

    ?

    IVF w/ ICSI #2 - fraternal twins born December 2010 at 36 weeks.
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