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Washington (State)

Washington advises Catholic diocese that anti-gay marriage collection is illegal

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The state of Washington has advised the Catholic diocese in Yakima, Wash., that its plans to conduct a special collection to benefit the campaign to defeat the state’s marriage equality law is illegal under the state’s campaign finance laws.

Last week, Yakima Bishop Joseph Tyson sent a letter to pastors in 41 parishes of the Yakima Diocese asking them to announce a special collection that would go to “Preserve Marriage Washington,” the coalition fighting the same-sex marriage law that was passed earlier this year.

Joseph Tyson

Opponents of the law have successfully targeted the measure with a voter referendum in November.

But Lori Anderson, a spokeswoman for the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, told LGBTQ Nation on Wednesday that the request is illegal under the terms of Initiative 134, which Washington voters passed ten years ago to regulate political contributions and campaign spending.

Anderson noted that state law specifically states that no organization, including churches, may act as an intermediary for contributions.

She said that churches are allowed hand out envelopes, but that either a member of Preserve Washington has to be on hand to collect them or parishioners must send them in individually.

Anderson said that the church has been notified by the commission.

Although the diocesan offices refused comment on the collection, planned for Sept. 8-9, a spokesperson did acknowledge that the Bishop also alerted parish priests that he has a “Pastoral Letter on Marriage” that he would like read in every parish.

Washington’s same-sex marriage law came under fire even before it was signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire in February when a group of bishops banded together and published a letter voicing their opposition to the bill. They argued that marriage should remain between a man and a woman because it is “related to bringing children into the world and the continuation of the human race.”

The church offered to use its parishes as signature-gathering centers for Preserve Marriage Washington’s campaign to place Referendum 74 to qualify the measure for the November ballot to put the new law up for a majority vote.

This latest effort by the Yakima Bishop comes as Preserve Marriage Washington acknowledged that it is trailing in fundraising efforts, raising just $471,000 compared with the nearly $6.1 million raised by Washington United for Marriage, the coalition which supports the same-sex marriage law.

Washington United for Marriage announced Monday that the group has set aside nearly $5 million for television advertising to commence after the Labor Day holiday.

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14 more reader comments:

  1. Why don’t the church raise money for more important things? Like help feed the hungry or house the homeless? Which I believe their Bible says. Also, doesn’t the Bible say if a woman isn’t “pure” (a virgin) shall be executed? Let’s make law for that!?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 8:51pm
  2. Tax the church, tax the church, tax the church!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 8:51pm
  3. yes! yes! yes! they should be paying property taxes !!!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 8:55pm
  4. I hate these people who places man made religion before other people’s rights. LEAVE THE GAYS ALONE AND FOR YOUR GOD’S SAKE, LEAVE THE LITTLE KIDS ALONE TOO!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 9:01pm
  5. ^Amen to that!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 9:03pm
  6. I’m in agreement with the “tax the church” idea. Every church that gets into politics should lose its exempt status. (Which would probably be most of them)

    Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 9:10pm
  7. There is a quote that says “You shall not opress the stranger.”

    Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 9:30pm
  8. And there was that scene at the Temple with the moneychangers, and the tables, and things going very badly….

    Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 9:37pm
  9. SHouldn’t this also have happened in the LDS church during the Prop 8 fiasco? They also illegally collected money from church members for POLITICAL ACTION.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 10:35pm
  10. They are all Pharisees in Mathew 19:11&12 Jesus said gays are born that way out of their mothers womb

    Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 3:33am
  11. I agree Scott…if I remember right I think the LDS raised like $21 million just to fight Prop 8. Watch that documentary “8-The Mormon Proposition” b/c that’s where I got that info. I think they even tried to join up with the catholic church on raising funds. I have a better idea: Why don’t all these churches and the IRS give the LGBT back their donations and tax dollars since they hate them so much and refuse to give them equal rights?! Catholic Charities won’t allow gays to adopt children, but they sure will accept their money.

    Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 3:33am
  12. are we talking about love or sex? if love is implying sex outside of marriage .. here is food for thought.. wouldn’t any sex act outside of marriage be considered fornication? so even if God didnt’ have a problem with two genders of the same sex together.. there is still the issue of fornication to talk about. I believe all love comes from God because God is love. but if we are saying God gives approves of sex outside of marriage.. then there is one commandment in the 10 that says.. do not commit fornication. who can name the 10 commandments. discrimination againts LGBT is another issue all together. . Hear the word of the Lord. . Gay rights and Gay marriage will be law in all the land but discern this is not the will of God our Father but because you have been afflicted .. your rights will pass.. for those who are willing to return to the Lord.. in this season you shall be the head and not the tail. the church has rejected you but now God has chosen you to lead the next wave of revival. It will give the term gay a whole another meaning. Happy. God will show you his love,mercy and goodness for those wiling to recieve Him.

    Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 6:56am
  13. Blah blah blah, sex is fun, you should try it sometime!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 8:50am
  14. my granny kicks water heaters ,so??

    Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 4:06pm