Washington Churches Fighting Marriage Equality Get Lesson In Campaign Finance Law

ChurchStateDivideA network of churches in Washington State were given little more than finger wagging when it was revealed they have been collecting donations from parishioners looking to overturn marriage equality there.

The Washington Post reports that Catholic parishes were told by the Public Disclosure Commission that while they can encourage parishioners to give money, the church itself can no longer take in the money and then send it to the right wing group Preserve Marriage Washington. Either individuals send it in themselves or someone from the organization in question comes to collect.

Regardless of the rules, some Catholic Churches in Washington seem prepared to kick their fight for discrimination up a notch. "The Catholic Church, during the month of September, plans to up its teachings on marriage and on our understanding that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman based on natural law, the Scriptures and our traditions,” said Monsignor Robert Siler, chief of staff for Washington's Yakima diocese.

"We don’t takes sides for or against candidates, but we do speak out against other issues. The Preserve Marriage Washington campaign aligns with our teachings, so we have no problem supporting it." He'd better get moving: the prohibition movement in Washington has raised about $480,000 to fight against marriage equality. Those fighting for marriage equality — Washington United for Marriage — have amassed about $6 million in donations.


  1. BrandonJD says

    It’s obnoxious how some churches abuse their tax free status and support candidates. These churches in Washington are using a loophole of not supporting Romney directly, but supporting a superPAC that in turn supports Romney.

    Take away their tax free status, is my opinion on the matter. This only seems to happen on the right. I know many liberal churches, and even moderate churches who make a concerted effort to keep their congregations informed of elections and candidates, but being stringent in never suggesting, or alluding to suggesting one candidate or party over the other.

    As the church I used to go to would say “It is not our place to tell you who to vote for, or TO EVEN USE LANGUAGE OR TACTICS THAT WOULD IMPLICITLY DO THE SAME.”

  2. mikeflower says

    The Catholic Church has lapsed into theological irrevalancy. It is better known for its history of sheltering child molesters, enabling fugitive Nazis & laundering Mafia money than anything referencing the Gospels.

    Most insulting to its self esteem must be its role as Mini-Me to the Mormon church. Mormon missionaries have been converting Catholics in Latin America for decades. Catholics must be finding a more resonant message in Mormonism,itself a theological precept that Catholic orthodoxy would find worthy of excommunication, or burning at the stake, were it promoted by Catholic clergy. Nevertheless the Vatican continues in its full on alliance w Salt Lake.

  3. says

    This organized religions are SICK. DISGUSTING, REVOLTING
    Spending this UNBELIEVABLE amount of money that could go to soooo many who need it, all to spend it on making people’s lives miserable?

    I will do all I can to speak freely and openly, using my first amendment rights, against organized religion, and the war on freedom that has been created by organized religion.

  4. Cortiz says

    You can’t even take religion seriously these days..because they can’t even keep up with their own lies and hypocrisy. They are literally loosing their minds.

  5. Reality 101 says

    Call a spade a spade. Modern day religion is: Tax exempt corrupt facilities that are strictly in place as a for profit business, manipulating minds with a fabricated book of lies they sell to make $

    And the sheeps follow it. SMH.

  6. Joseph Singer says

    We can’t get too comfortable though. NOM has said that they’re going to pump at least $4M into the campaign to defeat R74 and I don’t doubt that they’ll do it with less than truthful ads and other “tools.”

  7. ernstroehm's ghost says

    There can never be perfect separation of Church and state. Both institutions exist to govern men.

    On the other hand, the most traditional and historic Christian Churches (Catholic and E. Orthodox) have always observed a kind of separation. “Give unto Caesar; give unto God.”

    The question is how absolute the separation should be. Good luck finding a perfect answer.

  8. Seattle Mike says

    I forgot to mention that a group in my church will be hosting a fundraiser in a couple of weeks with the goal of raising over $2000. We’ve got a challenge going with other progressive churches in Seattle to see who can raise the most money for marriage equality. But we’re doing it according to the rules.

  9. jsb says

    Don’t forget to add the $$$ that The Mormon Church will ORDER it’s members to pay, just like they did here in California during Prop 8.

  10. Fix It Again Tony says

    It wasn’t that long ago that the Catholic Church DEMANDED that both partners be Catholic in order to be married, and that the children of such unions be brought up in the Catholic Church.

    Oh, wait… they apparently still do.