I'm seeing the fearful comments from a few LGBT people about how we shouldn't be "attacking" the Mormon Church. They are raising an issue that we shouldn't try to get the Mormons' tax-exempt status revoked. By "attacking religion," they say, we are fulfilling exactly what the churches and ministries were told by their leaders before the election -- that they would lose their tax-exempt status if they allowed same-sex marriage to be established.
The fearful ones are even pointing out that some liberal and LGBT nonprofits have crossed over the nonprofit line to politick in the same way that the conservative churches did.
With all due respect to those who are concerned, whether we're "attacking religion" or not isn't the real issue. In fact, it isn't even a "gay issue."
I don't condone "attacking a religion" for its conservative beliefs, any more than I would condone attacking a liberal religion, or a liberal non-religious organization. Not to mention one of our own LGBT nonprofits. I certainly don't condone attacking the Mormon Church per se.
The real issue is whether we will protect separation of church and state. Are we going to fight for it or not? If we are, then we'd better fight like tigers to protect it as established by the U.S. tax code.
NO church or religious nonprofit -- and NO liberal or LGBT organization, for that matter -- has the right to violate the tax laws. Calling for enforcement of the tax laws is not "attacking" these religions. They knew exactly what they were doing, and they shouldn't be defending the fact that they stepped over the line with their "yes on 8" campaign activism. ANY AND ALL tax-exempt entities, no matter who they are, non-gay or gay, deserve to have complaints filed against them with the IRS if they have abused their tax-exempt privilege.
I repeat -- asking for enforcement of the law is not an "attack." It is simple justice.
Right-wing church nonprofits, and left-wing/liberal/LGBT nonprofits, and everybody in between, can have a choice. They can be tax-exempt, and keep all their money...in which case they have to accept the limits within which the U.S. tax code allows them to engage in direct political activism.
Or they can give up their tax-free status, and pay taxes like the rest of us. In which case they will have the unlimited freedom to lobby and shoot off their mouths and spend their money on politics like the rest of us.
The "yes on 8" ads lied...the alarmist ads that said churches would lose their tax-exempt status if same-sex marriage were established in California In fact, it's very ironical. The churches and ministries and church orgs should know by now that their own leaders lied to them. They got what they wanted by passing Prop 8 -- and now they might lose their tax-exempt status anyway. They were greedy, and had no respect for the law, or for separation of church and state -- which is still the law of the land last time I looked.
If we LGBT people aren't going to fight for separation of church and state, then we can kiss our LGBT asses goodbye. Because that wall of separation is the only thing that gives us our present freedom to organize, and speak out as we do. It's the only thing that gave us whatever civil rights we do currently enjoy.
We won't get the right to marry unless our country continues to separate church and state. And that includes the separation that the IRS is in charge of enforcing.
As I said, this isn't even an LGBT issue. Many heterosexual Americans should be fighting to protect that separation of church and state as well. They too will suffer if that separation disappears.
So this is no time for ANY American to be fearful and accomodating, no matter what their sexual orientation is. This is no time to give these ultra-conservative church people an inch of any kind. They are certainly not going to give us an inch.