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Strip the Mormon Church of its Tax Exempt Status


A petition drive has begun to the IRS to strip the Mormon church of its tax exempt status:

Mrnicegay"Section 501(c)(3) describes corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literacy, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in section (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."

Read this site and sign THIS PETITION.

Mormons Stole Our Rights [official site]

Protest sign photo above by our reader Phillip Thomas. Top photo by Andy Towle. Believe it or not, I used to live directly next door to that Temple of Bigotry.

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  1. Why limit it to the Mormon Church? All religious institutions should have to pay taxes whether they are pro or anti-gay-it's not like the government doesn't need the money right now.

    Posted by: Charles | Nov 7, 2008 7:23:01 AM

  2. Why limit it to the Mormon Church? All religious institutions should have to pay taxes whether they are pro or anti-gay-it's not like the government doesn't need the money right now.

    Posted by: Charles | Nov 7, 2008 7:23:23 AM

  3. Where can I get a poster/tshirt with Phillip Thomas' design:
    NO MORE MR. NICE GAY"? Awesome!

    Posted by: Alex | Nov 7, 2008 8:48:38 AM

  4. The key word is "substantial." The IRS's definition is nuanced in such a way that it allows for lobbying by tax exempt organizations as long as the amount spent on it (it's all about dollars and cents for the IRS, not impact) does not represent a "substantial" portion of ALL spending the organization does. And, of course, their definition of "substantial" is fluid. I don't know the figures, but my guess (because I'm so cynical?) is that the amount the Church of LDS spent promoting Prop 8 is a drop in the bucket of their total financial activites. Still, it's definitely worth encouraging the scrutiny! Religious organizations aren't even required to file standard informational returns each year with the IRS like all other tax exempt organizations! So, lord only knows (pun intended) how much money flows through there and what they do with it. But it's likely that the crux of the issue at the end of the day would be that the IRS's definition would have to be changed, and that's like fighting a cloud.

    Posted by: Jeff | Nov 7, 2008 9:14:07 AM

  5. And I, too, LOVE the "No More Mr. Nice Gay!" Priceless!

    Posted by: Jeff | Nov 7, 2008 9:17:47 AM

  6. If we are going to use prop 8 as an example we can say the Catholic Church too (Knights of Columbus).

    Posted by: Josh | Nov 7, 2008 9:19:08 AM

  7. Signed the petition. Tempted to buy bumper stickers for everyone in my family for Christmas...even the mormon members of my family!

    Posted by: AggieCowboy | Nov 7, 2008 9:22:14 AM

  8. what are the chanced that we can take away their tax exempt status?

    Posted by: fab | Nov 7, 2008 9:29:42 AM

  9. Just because they're evil doesn't mean they're stupid.

    I doubt that ANY church directly donated one penny to YES ON 8. They pleaded with their membership to donate, and boy did they.

    There's no violation in this scenario... this is more wasted time and energy. The fury should be directed and EQ CA and NO ON PROP 8 for taking our money and running such an incompetent, amateurish, ineffective campaign.

    When voters are saying this such as this, the failure is ours:

    "I'm all for gays getting married - I have several gay friends, but I don't want it being taught to my young children in school."

    Posted by: David B. | Nov 7, 2008 10:01:17 AM

  10. josh

    the Knights of columbus are considered a separate entity from the Catholic church. A way for the church proper to protect itself if they ever need to cut off the KoC to save face.

    Better than the tax exempt thing , due to it being unlikely, BOYCOT!!!! every single last mormon affiliated biz

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Nov 7, 2008 10:19:19 AM

  11. "I'm all for gays getting married - I have several gay friends, but I don't want it being taught to my young children in school."

    People are so stupid. Prop 8 adds a single sentence to the state constitution - "Article I, SEC. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Nothing about stopping it from being taught in schools, nothing about just one man and one woman so mormons are free to practice polygamy.

    Besides, it's already being taught in school. The question should be, HOW do you want your children to learn about it? In a controlled environment through an approved curriculum, or from some punk on the playground - maybe one of Fred Phelps' brood?

    Posted by: MikeinSanJose | Nov 7, 2008 10:28:12 AM

  12. David B.

    The mormon church donated directly to the Prop H8 campaign and encouraged its members to donate even more. Plus it read prepared statements to its congregations and was instrumental in the organization of the Yes on 8 campaign.

    Posted by: AggieCowboy | Nov 7, 2008 10:49:50 AM

  13. Good luck. As with scientology, the IRS conceding that it would spend more money fighting Scientology to remove tax exempt status than it would lose by Scientology being tax exempt. The COS has a lot of money and lawyers, as I imagine the Mormon church.

    And though I despise all religious types, I especially despise Mormons right now.

    Posted by: JLS | Nov 7, 2008 10:56:25 AM

  14. Hmm why not do the opposite? Let's make being gay a religion!! We already say "oh he goes to our church/.." If L Ron Hubbard can turn a comic book story into a religion why not being LGBT? Then we can all be clergy members not pay taxes..

    Posted by: Glen | Nov 7, 2008 11:18:28 AM

  15. A strong leader must emerge from all of this. Gay rights need their own charismatic Obama NOW!

    I love this "No More Mr. Nice Gay." Awesome!"

    Passivity brings out the worst in others. No more passivity.
    Time to put those muscles guys work on day in day out into making some punches.

    Posted by: Alan | Nov 7, 2008 11:27:06 AM

  16. where do I get that no more mr nice gay sign?

    Posted by: Ron/e | Nov 7, 2008 11:44:32 AM

  17. yes, i think it is ok to go after the mormon church but feel you are limiting it to them only. The voters are the ones who collectively are responsible. Although we cannot say to people which way to vote, we can look into who did what, why and how? This Mormon thing is only a part of the whole.

    Posted by: ewe | Nov 7, 2008 11:49:51 AM

  18. MikeinSanJose:
    You're missing the point - that information was planted directly into the heads of the voters by the killer, focused, professionally run YES ON 8 campaign. A message that was never properly answered by NO ON 8, but you managed to answer without muss or fuss at your keyboard. This fury needs to be directed at the organizations that took our money and squandered it by locking those out that knew what to do to for their own selfish control-queen and self-promotion.

    I haven't seen a single credible source to support your statement - just rumor and speculation. There might be a Mormon PAC, technically separate from the church, but no activist church is stupid enough to jeopardize their protected status by so blatantly violating the IRS conditions for protected status.

    Posted by: David B. | Nov 7, 2008 11:58:42 AM

  19. Don't forget: the Church of Scientology also has tax exempt status and believes all sexual deviants, including homosexuals and fetishists, should be removed from society and cured or killed "quiety and without sorrow".

    Why not go after them too?

    Posted by: anonymous | Nov 7, 2008 12:04:13 PM

  20. While it may be true that the LDS church fueled the $ involved in the campaign for Prop 8; please look at the exit poll information coming out. 70% of African-Americans and 53% of Latino(a)-Americans voted "yes" (and presumably they also voted overwhelmingly for Obama). What does that say? You know who enemies are, but in this case you failed with your allies. Machiavellian lesson to be learned.

    Posted by: Mr. Hare | Nov 7, 2008 12:22:22 PM

  21. "Second Class Citizen" T-shirts. Money goes to HRC and EQCA.

    Posted by: Alan | Nov 7, 2008 12:27:10 PM

  22. I also want one of the 'No More Mr. Nice Gay' t-shirts. Whoever the designer is should print them up and sell them to favor the repeal of Prop 8! I will buy!

    And yes I believe that the LDS did enough to warrant losing their tax-exempt status. We should nail them and anyone else that hides behind the religious skirts while hurling harm at us! Hit them in their (ample) pockets!

    Posted by: CK | Nov 7, 2008 12:44:56 PM



    Posted by: John | Nov 7, 2008 12:58:26 PM

  24. Removing the tax exempt status of churches is the quickest way to ensure a Republican take over of the House and Senate in two years.

    It would give them the perfect rallying point.

    Let's not be hasty in what we decide to do.

    Posted by: Eric | Nov 7, 2008 1:03:26 PM

  25. I completely agree, we played nice and got screwed by these is time to take action against them.
    We may not be successful in removing their tax exempt status, but let's at least try to get this to the courts. They want to fuck with us, then let's see what happens.
    they might be smart, but let's not forget even the most intelligent criminal can fuck up somewhere.
    I understand they have a quite a few business under their belts...I guess they own the Raddison hotel chain, and some cruise lines, and TGI fridays.

    don't be so sure that with enough people behind a campaign that something cannot be done to these people.

    I mean, one of their memebers dontated $50,000 from their savings for this nonsense.

    sign the petition it is a first step!!

    where is Larry Kramer when you need him?

    Posted by: paul | Nov 7, 2008 1:54:33 PM

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