Skip to comments.Washington state Catholic bishop warned over anti-gay marriage campaign
Posted on 09/01/2012 11:36:52 AM PDT by presidio9
Washington state regulators have warned a Roman Catholic bishop that his diocese risks running afoul of state campaign finance laws if he follows through with a planned fund-raising effort opposing same-sex marriage on the November ballot.
State law prohibits organizations, including churches, from raising money from individuals to give to political campaigns, said Lori Anderson, a spokeswoman for the state's Public Disclosure Commission.
"It's not because it's a church. It's because it's not a stand-alone individual," Anderson said on Thursday.
The commission was calling into question a recent letter from Bishop Joseph Tyson to Yakima-area pastors urging them to distribute donation envelopes to parishioners during the weekend of September 8-9.
The money would go to Preserve Marriage Washington, the campaign to defeat legalization of same-sex marriage on the state's November ballot.
The Democratic-controlled Washington Legislature voted this year to legalize same-sex marriage, and Governor Chris Gregoire, a Democrat and a Catholic, signed the measure into law during in February.
But the law was blocked from taking effect as scheduled in June when opponents submitted a petition for a repeal referendum on the November ballot. Referendum 74, subsequently certified as having collected enough signatures to qualify, asks voters to approve or reject the gay marriage bill enacted in February.
Tyson's letter instructs parish priests not to open the envelopes once they are turned back in, but to place them into a pre-addressed security envelope to be mailed directly to Preserve Marriage, according to local media reports.
"It's not our envelope," Tyson told local television station KIMA-TV. "We're not collecting the money, and we're not taking the money. Preserve Marriage Washington is doing that. We're going to follow the state law."
But Anderson said she was not swayed.
"That can't happen under our state law,"
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
But I do ask this: what's the big idea with putting all the little envelopes into one big Security Envelope and sending them all at once? Why couldn't they just hand out stamped envelopes and have people drop them in the mail themselves?
Surely ther would be a couple of people in the congregation who would spring for a couple hundred "forever" stamps.
Is there something here I missed?
WAR is AFOOT!! LET’S ROLL!!!
I’m absolutely certain that Rev. Wright never raised any political funds, from the pews, on behalf of Obama or any other favored Chicago politician. // sarc
Absolutely! The churches muzzled themselves by applying for 501 C 3’s.
And here’s something even worse...I know of Tea Party groups who applied.
Left leaning churches do this kind of thing and never get a warning. Or so it seems to me looking back...
There is no wall between church and state. The church may interact in any manner it wants with the government. However there is a wall between state and church which is absolutely impenetrable. The state can not control, guide, demand or deny religion. A judicious government must have a moral foundation and a moral foundation can only be found in religion.