Washington churches told not to collect funds for gay marriage fight

SPOKANE, Wash. — Churches in Washington state are being reminded that collecting money for a political cause is not OK … Continued

SPOKANE, Wash. — Churches in Washington state are being reminded that collecting money for a political cause is not OK — including a high-stakes ballot battle over gay marriage.

The state’s Public Disclosure Commission recently learned that Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima sent a letter to pastors in 41 parishes asking them to take up a special collection for Preserve Marriage Washington, the group that is trying to overturn the state’s same-sex marriage law.

A formal complaint, however, was not filed. Lori Anderson, communication and training officer for the state commission, said the reminder was merely precautionary.

“There’s been no formal action. There’s no story here. Preserve Marriage Washington and our partners have done everything within full compliance of the law,” said PMW Deputy Campaign Director Chris Plante.

Anderson explained that any organization — religious or not — cannot serve as an intermediary for a contribution, though it can freely promote a campaign.

“Churches can distribute the envelopes and encourage parishioners to use them, but they can’t be the middleman,” she said, adding that individual contributors have to send the donations in themselves, or someone from the campaign has to be on hand to collect the money.

Plante said the Catholic dioceses of Yakima and Spokane will distribute pre-addressed remittance envelopes in September, which will then be collected by PMW volunteers. A date for the collection has not yet been determined.

“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 and chancellor for 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.”

PMW has raised $471,000 for its campaign to overturn the February law that legalized same-sex marriage in the state.

Washington United for Marriage, which supports Referendum 74 to retain the law, has raised more than $6 million.

The issue will go to voters in November.

(Tracy Simmons is the editor of SpokaneFAVS.com)

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

  • FlexSF

    I am so grateful for the separation of church and state. Lets see the disgusting Christian bigots try to weasel out of this.

  • ldfrmc

    The money will be shipped in from Mormons in Utah, Knights of Columbus and NOM on the east coast, etc.

    Just like the “grassroots” movement for Prop 8 in California.

  • ldfrmc

    The state expects the catholic church will be accountable to all the laws in Washington, say, like, criminal law and child molestation?

    LOL

Read More Articles

shutterstock_53190298
Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

noplaceonearth
An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

shutterstock_148333673
Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.