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Bill would allow Utah taxpayers to donate portion of refund to fight gay marriage

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawmaker hopes residents can soon donate to the state’s fight against gay marriage by checking a box on a tax form.

Republican Rep. Merrill Nelson of Grantsville has proposed a bill that would give residents the option of donating a portion of their income-tax refund to a “Marriage Defense Fund.” The tax form already allows donations for nine other groups, including a homeless trust fund and one for organ transplants.

Merrill Nelson

Merrill Nelson

Nelson said the option is meant to placate proponents of same-sex marriage who complain the state is wasting money appealing a federal decision striking down Utah’s gay marriage ban.

“I see it as a peacekeeping measure,” Nelson told The Salt Lake Tribune. He is an attorney for Kirton McConkie, which represents The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Brandie Balken of the gay rights group Equality Utah criticized the bill, saying it would create more division among Utah residents.

The measure is the latest in the battle over the state’s same-sex marriage ban approved by two-thirds of Utah voters in 2004 but overturned by a federal judge in late December. More than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples then married, until the U.S. Supreme Court granted the state an emergency stay Jan. 6, halting the weddings.

The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Ap peals is reviewing the case, with a ruling expected in a few months.

Gov. Gary Herbert ordered state agencies to freeze recognition of same-sex marriages, while the federal government has said they’ll recognize the marriages.

If Nelson’s measure passes, the tax refund contributions would come on taxes filed in 2015.

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The impact might be more ceremonial than practical. The state office of fiscal analysts estimates the Marriage Defense Fund would draw $60,000 over the next two years, based on the math of 2,000 people donating $15 each.

The nine causes that people already can contribute refund money to using their Utah state tax form include youth organizations, the homeless, wildlife, pets, organ transplants, schools and even the “canine body armor account.”

Any cause get can get a space on the tax form if the Legislature approves it, said Utah Tax Commission Charlie Roberts. Funds are removed if they receive less than $30,000 for three consecutive years, he said.

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142 more reader comments:

  1. Complete oppression by the very government that is supposed to uphold the US Constitution. Hahahahahahaha. Cannot wait for this to happen.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:07pm
  2. Sweet Baby Jesus…Um…what a douche bag..

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:08pm
  3. Why not donate that to the unemployed? Or the poor? Or anyone who really needs help?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:08pm
  4. EXACTLY. People are such cretans that they can't even get out of their own way...

    Replied on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:11pm
  5. As long as we can have a box that allows us to donate to the fight for EQUAL RIGHTS! Come on, no double standards!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:09pm
  6. TRUE

    Replied on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:26pm
  7. its like paying for holding freedomew back

    Replied on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:29pm
  8. Exactly!

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:31am
  9. You gotta be shitting me!

    Maybe there should be a check box for those who support gay marriage !

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:10pm
  10. Can’t there be like a world, where people live their lives and let others do the same thing? I bet people like this man don’t have a life to start with, that’s why they waste it bothering other people’s lives so much. What is wrong about living and letting live?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:10pm
  11. Another attempt at sanctioned discrimination, eh? How about a “support same-sex marriage rights” donation box on the form?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:10pm
  12. Homeless people, starving kids, bad education, and you want to give money to people who are fighting to keep the LGBT Nation unhappy? This is love, you Sir need a reality check, and a swift kick in the ass. You Sir, a a CAPITAL DUMB ASS! I hope your kids turn out gay! :) Peace, Love, and Dr. Pepper. That is all! :)

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:10pm
  13. FUCKING IDIOTS!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:11pm
  14. What a waste of money its donating money to hate. Maybe the KKK should have a donation box as well.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:11pm
  15. There goes another portion of tax payer money down the drain.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:12pm
  16. Pathetic!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:12pm
  17. More absolute insanity from those who have an irrational fear of what they don’t understand and refuse to even try to understand. This kind of thing is obviously going to continue for quite some time. The fight for equality is a war of attrition, and victory belongs to those who want it the most. We will continue to fight these people on every front. Rest assured, my friends, that victory will be ours!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:14pm
  18. Why would ppl fight SOOO hard to block something that doesn’t even affect them?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:16pm
  19. Exactly..

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 1:13pm
  20. You my sir, are a royal douche bag and your bill smells like one too

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:17pm
  21. Gross. Utah “lawmakers” are gross.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:18pm
  22. That can not be legal.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:18pm
  23. What a waste. There is no fight. Very soon, all Americans will be treated equally.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:19pm
  24. I’m beginning to think Americans are going Communist or National Socialist. I’m to the North of you and I really dont want a totalitarian state next to me.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:19pm
  25. I bet the ones that don’t check the box will be more likely to be audited

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:20pm
  26. What a waste of tax money given all the economic problems the nation has ! What a homophobic bigot! Protea this monster!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:21pm
  27. how is that legal?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:21pm
  28. Really?!? Not to OH I DON’T KNOW…helping the homeless or hungry. Asshole!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:22pm
  29. There are better thing to do with that money…Please give a good use

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:24pm
  30. DESPERADO

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:26pm
  31. You can’t legislate love. The sky didn’t and won’t fall. What is the problem. My theory is that each and every anti-gay marriage law maker is in the closet. It’s so simple and yet so sad. I say stay in the closet and be miserable but get your hands of my love life.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:28pm
  32. How about a box allowing his equal rights to be taken away !!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:28pm
  33. They are trying every sneaky thing they can think of.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:28pm
  34. So would that money be going towards paying for the signs that spew hate speech? If so, I’d highly recommend spending it on something more worthwhile, like feeding starving children and helping single parents with their children…among other things. Gay people are the least of their worries, and haters need to concentrate in real problems in our country.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:29pm
  35. As long as there is a box to check to support GAY Marriage too!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:33pm
  36. Isn’t that discrimination against sexual orientation. Thought that was federal law lol such BS

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:33pm
  37. sick!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:33pm
  38. Wow…the world just disgusts me…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:34pm
  39. Using hate to rob the taxpayers

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:36pm
  40. Wow. I don’t see him asking people to donate their hard earned money to help the poor and hungry. Give your money towards hatred. He probably belongs to the kkk.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:38pm
  41. Sue the church of latter day saints for the money fuckers

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:38pm
  42. Have they heard of the Constitution? Separation of church and state?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:40pm
  43. Tax the Mormons and all religions

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:41pm
  44. they’re already wasting your tax dollars…but go ahead and waste even more!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:41pm
  45. Lol

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:43pm
  46. NO I WILL NOT AND I HOPE ALL PEOPLE ARE SMART ENOUGH NOT TOO ALSO!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:43pm
  47. Good. That’s a good precedent for empowerment of the people.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:43pm
  48. How about donating to fight FOR gay marriage?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:43pm
  49. This is VERY wrong. Two boxes, one that allows and one not, if you are going to take this nasty direction.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:50pm
  50. jesus christ!!!!! bigot

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:53pm
  51. a**hat!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:54pm
  52. How about a fund to fund gay marriage

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:56pm
  53. also a box for the animal rights group, too

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:58pm
  54. You just have got to be kidding me and if this passes, we will all know truly how the church controls politics in Utah. There is NO separation of church and state in that state. $$$$$$$&

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:02pm
  55. Great idea!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:10pm
  56. Oh ffsake.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:18pm
  57. Hell no

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:22pm
  58. Sounds about right for Mormon controlled Utah.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:29pm
  59. Laws that try to limit how many children someone has. Because that’s definitely the freedom America is all about

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:31pm
  60. Toe-tappers.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:32pm
  61. I vote for a box to donate to eliminating the legal status of the Mormon Church.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:32pm
  62. WOW.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:34pm
  63. This is real bull shit

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:38pm
  64. This seriously breaks my heart. Such hated in his heart for people who just want the freedom to love. My Love isn’t any different than any heterosexual. I just want to be able to hold hands, kiss, and marry the love of my life without being condemned to hell by people like this. I don’t hate him I pity him. His close mindedness and discrimination must weigh heavy on his shoulders. I am not asking to be understood or to marry in their churches. I just want to be treated as an equal. We already have the world against us. Give us a break. Good Lord!

    -a disgusted and happily gay woman

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:39pm
  65. People are starving and this is what they are worried about !!! They should be ashamed of themselves!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:39pm
  66. What a laugh…. Constitutional? I don’t think so….

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:40pm
  67. Some states should just be naked.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:40pm
  68. her Bruce Logan Mair ill donate money to your idea what a great idea

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:47pm
  69. OMG. Get over it already!!! You lost!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:55pm
  70. Anyone willing to LOSE money over this!? Honestly?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:56pm
  71. Funny how they are not fighting polygamist marriages which were approved at same time.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:56pm
  72. Golob has no gay people! B|

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 8:15pm
  73. Fucktard

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 8:19pm
  74. Tired of the hate. Gay people pay taxes too – maybe we stop.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 8:19pm
  75. That's right.

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 1:16pm
  76. What a bunch of bigots!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 8:30pm
  77. So Sundance do you really want to continue to be affiliated with this state?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 8:41pm
  78. more government interfering with a person’s individual rights and liberties. They have to be Commmies!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 8:43pm
  79. How is that even legal by any stretch of the imagination.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 8:44pm
  80. I’m hoping for a huge waste of time & money for Utah!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 8:47pm
  81. keep wasting money time n morals tramps…the time will come when were all equal..sick of these bigots

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 8:48pm
  82. Haven’t people got worthwhile causes to support , like homeless, starving, education? I still don’t understand the preoccupation some people have with the lives of others who are not behaving in any uncivilized manner only being in love

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 8:50pm
  83. What a Giant pile of Bullshit !!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 9:02pm
  84. Donate to the poor, hungry and homeless now that would be a good governor, not a Republican douche like this guy.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 9:02pm
  85. Just another part of the ass’es anatomy.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 9:08pm
  86. This is crazy!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 9:09pm
  87. It’s no wonder why some people hate Utah!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 9:15pm
  88. This is blatant homophobia, you do not have the right to legislate hate!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 9:54pm
  89. pricks

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 10:18pm
  90. I just threw up reading this shit

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 10:26pm
  91. Just one more person trying to spread hate and stupidity.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 10:26pm
  92. douch

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 10:32pm
  93. WTF

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 10:40pm
  94. Begging for cash much?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 10:44pm
  95. Clearly a politician who’s best contribution to society would be the submission of his body to land fill.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 10:44pm
  96. Isn’t this actually illegal?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 10:48pm
  97. Wtf

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 10:48pm
  98. Will the haters ever stop??

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 11:03pm
  99. Isn’t helping the poor supposed to be at the top of the list of Christian values? Isn’t that what Christ would do? You know, Christ… you named your whole religion after him. Since he never mentioned gays at all, not once, it’s pretty simple to infer this isn’t of great importance to him. So much for doing all the good you can do just so you can get into heaven. Denied.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 11:07pm
  100. and just who is going to be getting this “donation”?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 11:12pm
  101. Hmmm good question!

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 1:15pm
  102. When will the people of UT demand that the Republican Mormons running the state stop wasting millions of their tax dollars to go against the US Constitution’s guarantee of equal rights for all?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 11:20pm
  103. Reap what ya sow!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 11:29pm
  104. Fuck this guy. Find his address. Send him lots of gay porn.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 11:59pm
  105. Ridiculous.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 12:00am
  106. fuck Utah and the Mormons

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 12:09am
  107. Kimball Bergeron – I don’t think that will make it. I believe there is a space limitation. Sorry.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 12:20am
  108. ain’t that some shit

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 12:33am
  109. Can they donate to support the fight if they wish as well?

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 1:02am
  110. Meanwhile people are starving.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 1:36am
  111. Seriously? Okay, well, as long as there’s a box for those who want to donate to the fight FOR gay marriage, I guess we can live with that.

    Hey, turn about fair play right?!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 1:38am
  112. Perhaps they are so miserable in their heterosexual marriage that they can’t stand the thought of a gay couple staying together for 30 years without the threat of losing half in a divorce.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 1:41am
  113. where do these bigots come from , we should get to vote on their rights to stop this stupidity . equal treatment is constitutionally guaranteed to all and has nothing to do with religion . separation of church and state should be shored up by some voting, to stop these type of bills from ever being brought to vote . ever again in our nations future to protect all from religious persecution.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 1:48am
  114. Let them waste their money. Even if it were to fail it will only be temporary. Eventually equality will prevail. I’m surprised we’ve made as much progress as we have recently

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 1:55am
  115. Really…

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 2:18am
  116. There is no fight, it is them against a lifestyle that has not really affected anyone Matthew 5:44, for those who use religion to substantiate oppression, bc we have no correlation to the devil or demons in fact more exorcisms are performed on native africans who actually began this practice, let alone gay people

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 2:20am
  117. so, discrimination paid by our taxes?

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 2:28am
  118. I’m glad you all post pictures on here so we will know who to spit on if we see these pieces of crap in public.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 2:54am
  119. Just to clarify, I mean the people in these stories. Lol. Not you all who commented. Lol

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 2:55am
  120. Donate to the homeless not the haters.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 2:56am
  121. No way !! These people don’t believe in Democracy & have no respect for other people !!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:21am
  122. That’s illegal you ass

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:53am
  123. Really? What a freaking scam!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:57am
  124. That would be far better than making tax payers foot the bill for this bullshit

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:24am
  125. Who cares? Let them waste their money like they did on Prop 8. How’d that work out for them?

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:31am
  126. What a d-bag

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:57am
  127. fucked up but better than the general taxpayers foot the bill

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:50am
  128. Discrimination and total ignorance for bastards like that. The same type of check box should be put on the tax forms for donations to fight back against the state. But guess it would be hard to do in that state. RELIGION and POLITICS should “never” be combined/mixed. NEVER!!!!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:26am
  129. Trying to circumvent a court’s ruling ‘en!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:46am
  130. who cares what Utah does.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:48am
  131. Are they also gonna have a bill so you can donate to stupid causes. Oh wait they already have.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7:23am
  132. What a bunch of dicks. I hope god gets rel pissed and swallows the entire the entire state up into a sinkhole.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7:49am
  133. that’s sick they already pay taxes and then their being asked to donate to the hate cause lets face it would like to do away with us altogether if they could asking for donations for things that would help end homelessness and other helpful causes.but not for stopping people that love each other from getting married is wrong

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7:52am
  134. Wtf?

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7:56am
  135. we the people really…get these guy out of our lives..

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:32am
  136. Omg! Get a fucking life! Who we marry is none of your business and it effects you not in the slightest bit. Go lay down

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:06am
  137. Is that even legal??????????

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:17am
  138. Just think if they spent all this money and time on intolerance doing things jesus actually believed in, like helping the poor. The world would be alot better place

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:22am
  139. these self-righteous Christians don’t understand separation of church an state. at all.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 11:20am
  140. Fucking jerk off.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 12:20pm
  141. Donating money to hinder the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What an ass this man is. His idea is a huge load of manure. Rep. Nelson ought to wipe that ugly grin off of his face.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 1:09pm
  142. Who in their right mind would donate?

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 1:31pm