By Heather Murphy
My joy regarding the election of President Obama...
wait a minute. I have to say that a few more times. It's still sinking in.
Okay, I'm back. It's wonderful news for me. But my joy regarding the election of President Obama is seriously clouded by the passing of Prop 8 in California, which takes away the right of same-sex couples to marry in that state.
And I'm not alone.
At the Mormon Temple, protestors are still marching. Why the Mormon Temple, you ask? I'm glad you asked. It seems that the Church of Latter-Day Saints financed the campaign for Prop 8. They paid for at least half the costs of the campaign, and, by some estimates, up to 75% of the campaign costs.
Problem is, the laws governing tax-exempt organizations like churches don't permit a church to finance a political campaign. From Section 501(c)(3) of US Code Title 26, the definition of a tax-exempt organization includes the phrase, "no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation."
Now, doesn't it sort of sound like the Mormons have violated the law in the process of robbing GLBT people of their constitutional right to legal equality? Because it sounds that way to me.
And I think it's important that the IRS imposes an appropriate penalty. Like, say, financial remuneration to every gay person in California equal to the financial benefits that come from marriage, plus an appropriate amount for pain and suffering. Or the revocation of their tax-exempt status.
If you agree, why not send a message to the IRS letting them know about this violation of the law? This blog has some instructions on exactly how you could do that.