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ROBERTS: If Sue loves Joe and Tom loves Joe, Sue could marry him and Tom can't. Why isn't that a straightforward question of sexual discrimination?

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I'm starting to like Rush Limbaugh.

Following the court case is interesting. But getting Rush Limbaugh's take on it is even more interesting...

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2015/04/29/court_debates_new_view_of_marriage

Here are some stuff he highlighted from the court case:

ALITO: Well, what if there’s no — these are 4 people, 2 men and 2 women, it’s not–it’s not the sort of polygamous relationship, polygamous marriages that existed in other societies and still exist in some societies today. And let’s say they’re all consenting adults, highly educated. They’re all lawyers. What would be the ground under–under the logic of the decision you would like us to hand down in this case? What would be the logic of denying them the same right?

KENNEDY: This definition has been with us for millennia, and it's very difficult for the court to say, "Oh, well. We know better."

ROBERTS: If Sue loves Joe and Tom loves Joe, Sue could marry him and Tom can't. Why isn't that a straightforward question of sexual discrimination?

And here's Rush opining on a National Review article about the shifting definition of marriage:

RUSH: The old version, the old view of marriage held that it was a long-term institution for the express purpose of creating families, holding them together, raising children, promoting the culture, keeping it solid and together.

That old view is now called bigotry by the people who hold a new and different view of marriage.

The new version of marriage is, it's just something of the moment to satisfy the of-the-moment desires and emotional connection of two people in the moment, that it has nothing to do with procreation or children.

And another one opining on a National Review article about Religious Institutions losing tax-exempt status:

"Religious institutions could be at risk of losing their tax-exempt status due to their beliefs about marriage if the Supreme Court holds that gay couples have a constitutional right to wed..."

Now, of course there is no such constitutional right, but that's never stopped the court finding one.

Interesting stuff to say the least.

Edited by anatess

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Haven't we had this conversation about a million times already?

Edited by Eowyn

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We have? That would be really interesting because... the Supreme Court hearing I'm talking about just happened 2 days ago... and nobody has ever mentioned it.

If you're not interested in the proceedings of the Supreme Court case, then, of course you can move on. smh.

And on a P.S.

It is also very interesting to me there is hardly an American interested in the stuff that happens in the Supreme Court of the United States. But basketball or football... man, you get a play by play...

Edited by anatess

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Gay marriage. Gay rights. Different details, same discussion. Don't give yourself a headache.

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Gay marriage. Gay rights. Different details, same discussion. Don't give yourself a headache.

Supreme Court. It's a BIG DEAL. And I'm a Filipino! Geez wheez. And you wonder why Obama wins a landslide election...

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His commentary on what this is really about for the activists is interesting. And i liked how he turned the table on the argument stated in the title of the thread.

 

I have a question about the whole churches losing tax-exempt status. What would that mean for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

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I have a question about the whole churches losing tax-exempt status. What would that mean for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

 

 

Someone more versed in Tax law could better answer....  But here are a few things I see...

 

1. Less money toward the mission of the church because it is diverted to a tax bill

2, The church becomes a target to IRS investigations and related politics. 

 

That being said I think the church has an out.  If it comes down to it the LDS Church can get out of the legal marriage business.  It can tell its leaders not to perform any marriages whatsoever.  It can inform it members to acquire and legal marriage outside the Temples before going to the Temples to be Sealed to their spouse (like they do in England currently).  Rendering Sealings a purely religious ordnance with no legal standing.   This should allow the LDS Church to avoid the issue entirely if it happens and not require to much change in how the Church does things.

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Someone more versed in Tax law could better answer....  But here are a few things I see...

 

1. Less money toward the mission of the church because it is diverted to a tax bill

2, The church becomes a target to IRS investigations and related politics. 

 

That being said I think the church has an out.  If it comes down to it the LDS Church can get out of the legal marriage business.  It can tell its leaders not to perform any marriages whatsoever.  It can inform it members to acquire and legal marriage outside the Temples before going to the Temples to be Sealed to their spouse (like they do in England currently).  Rendering Sealings a purely religious ordnance with no legal standing.   This should allow the LDS Church to avoid the issue entirely if it happens and not require to much change in how the Church does things.

 

So would this out allow them to keep tax-exempt status?

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So would this out allow them to keep tax-exempt status?

 

If the reason for removing the tax-exempt status was because of discriminating on providing a legal service.  Then no longer providing that service at all should remove the reason for revoking it. 

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If the reason for removing the tax-exempt status was because of discriminating on providing a legal service.  Then no longer providing that service at all should remove the reason for revoking it. 

 

Gotcha. Thank you for the replies.

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Yet it seems some articles I've read say the mere belief against gay marriage would be enough to lose the tax-exempt status. Is that something the courts could really have a say in?

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I have a question about the whole churches losing tax-exempt status. What would that mean for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

I have along parade of horrible about where federally-mandated gay marriage and the accompanying attitudinal shifts take us, but in the short term and limited just to tax consequences:

1. Your tithing is no longer tax deductible.

2. The Church pays corporate income tax, nominally 35% of income, on its global donations receipts.

3. The Church pays state property tax for its (I'm guessing as to the number) five-thousand-odd chapels and eighty-odd temples in the US.

4. Church-owned educational institutions could also pose nonprofit status, and run into additional difficulties if they or their students take federal funding.

5. Mission president stipends/living expense reimbursements are currently non-taxable under some obscure IRS rulings; that would probably change.

I think the LDS church with its centralized budget and property-holding procedures, subsidization of local congregations from a Salt Lake, and vast revenue-generating business holdings; will be better situated than most churches to take these blows. For your average church in-say-Sacramento, California, with a building valued at $2 million--basically, you'll have to raise another $13,600 just to pay your property tax. But that $13,600 you just raised is ALSO subject to corporate income tax of 35%, so really you have to raise $18,360 just to keep your building from escheating to the state; and on top of that your annual budget just took a thirty-five percent cut.

This will be difficult even on local congregations of large national churches, if those congregations are funded primarily by local donations--and to small, independent churches it will probably be a death blow.

And, yeah--I think that's the plan.

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I have along parade of horrible about where federally-mandated gay marriage and the accompanying attitudinal shifts take us, but in the short term and limited just to tax consequences:

1. Your tithing is no longer tax deductible.

2. The Church pays corporate income tax, nominally 35% of income, on its global donations receipts.

3. The Church pays state property tax for its (I'm guessing as to the number) five-thousand-odd chapels and eighty-odd temples in the US.

4. Church-owned educational institutions could also pose nonprofit status, and run into additional difficulties if they or their students take federal funding.

5. Mission president stipends/living expense reimbursements are currently non-taxable under some obscure IRS rulings; that would probably change.

I think the LDS church with its centralized budget and property-holding procedures, subsidization of local congregations from a Salt Lake, and vast revenue-generating business holdings; will be better situated than most churches to take these blows. For your average church in-say-Sacramento, California, with a building valued at $2 million--basically, you'll have to raise another $13,600 just to pay your property tax. But that $13,600 you just raised is ALSO subject to corporate income tax of 35%, so really you have to raise $18,360 just to keep your building from escheating to the state; and on top of that your annual budget just took a thirty-five percent cut.

This will be difficult even on local congregations of large national churches, if those congregations are funded primarily by local donations--and to small, independent churches it will probably be a death blow.

And, yeah--I think that's the plan.

 

Yikes! Thanks for the reply.

Edited by Connie

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Yet it seems some articles I've read say the mere belief against gay marriage would be enough to lose the tax-exempt status. Is that something the courts could really have a say in?

Yes, because it is the courts' job to interpret and apply the tax code. In fact, this has happened before (to a religious university, not to an actual church, that discriminated based on race). The case was Bob Jones University v. United States, decided by the Supreme Court in 1983.

That being said I think the church has an out. If it comes down to it the LDS Church can get out of the legal marriage business. It can tell its leaders not to perform any marriages whatsoever. It can inform it members to acquire and legal marriage outside the Temples before going to the Temples to be Sealed to their spouse (like they do in England currently). Rendering Sealings a purely religious ordnance with no legal standing. This should allow the LDS Church to avoid the issue entirely if it happens and not require to much change in how the Church does things.

The Bob Jones court held as follows:

It would be wholly incompatible with the concepts underlying tax exemption to grant tax-exempt status to racially discriminatory private educational entities. Whatever may be the rationale for such private schools' policies, racial discrimination in education is contrary to public policy. Racially discriminatory educational institutions cannot be viewed as conferring a public benefit within the above 'charitable' concept or within the congressional intent underlying 501©(3).

So the question isn't whether the institution discriminates in allocating a government benefit (like marriage); the question is whether the institution discriminates at all. And the Church does.

Now, the Court did limit the application of the ruling to educational institutions; but I think the public and judicial mood is now right for extending that ruling to churches as well since anti-religious sentiment is on the rise and the underlying IRS nonprofit statute specifically encompasses both types of institutions.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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Yes, because it is the courts' job to interpret and apply the tax code. In fact, this has happened before (to a religious university, not to an actual church, that discriminated based on race). The case was Bob Jones University v. United States, decided by the Supreme Court in 1983.

The Bob Jones court held as follows:

So the question isn't whether the institution discriminates in allocating a government benefit (like marriage); the question is whether the institution discriminates at all. And the Church does.

 

 

Which is why I said if the reasoning was because of the benefit.

 

Clearly if they are going to do it simply because of what they disagree with what Churches believes (which is likely) then it would not work. 

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I can see a further need and rise of voluntary service in such a stark future. Now here's the question, can individuals be taxed for directly providing for the church where money, and materials are never handled by the church itself, but directly given by individuals to other individuals for the benefit of Zion? This wouldn't work for all things, such as property, but i'm curious.

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And here's Rush opining on a National Review article about the shifting definition of marriage:

RUSH: The old version, the old view of marriage held that it was a long-term institution for the express purpose of creating families, holding them together, raising children, promoting the culture, keeping it solid and together.

That old view is now called bigotry by the people who hold a new and different view of marriage.

The new version of marriage is, it's just something of the moment to satisfy the of-the-moment desires and emotional connection of two people in the moment, that it has nothing to do with procreation or children.

 

 

To think that gay couples just want to satisfy momentary romantic desires without any intention of creating a family and contributing to the well-being of our society (because straight couples NEVER do that :rolleyes: ) is simply naive and incorrect. True, they can't procreate, but there are countless gay couples raising healthy, loving families through the channels of adoption.

 

Also, Limbaugh's argument conveniently overlooks the myriad straight couples who are biologically incapable of procreation. Are we to believe that they can't start families?

 

All of this procreation talk is irrelevent, however, because the state has no right to define marriage as a means to any conclusion other than two loving individuals being romantically and legally bound to each other. Limbaugh's "old version" of marriage isn't objectionable (and as I stated above, doesn't exclude same-sex couples), but it's also not the only way to define marriage.

 

"Religious institutions could be at risk of losing their tax-exempt status due to their beliefs about marriage if the Supreme Court holds that gay couples have a constitutional right to wed..."

 

Good. Gay rights issues aside, the revocation of tax exempt status from religious institutions has been long overdue, especially in a society in which many churches (including the LDS Church) have corporate dealings and others (with the notable exception of the LDS Church) do not hesitate to endorse political parties and candidates. Churches cling to their tax-exempt status for dear life, but the jeopardizing of it is entirely their own doing.

Edited by Godless

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Good. Gay rights issues aside, the revocation of tax exempt status from religious institutions has been long overdue, especially in a society in which many churches (including the LDS Church) have corporate dealings and others (with the notable exception of the LDS Church) do not hesitate to endorse political parties and candidates. Churches cling to their tax-exempt status for dear life, but the jeopardizing of it is entirely their own doing.

 

How precisely has the LDS church jeopardized its tax-exempt status?... besides having religious definition of marriage that fell out of favor in less then a decade? 

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All of this procreation talk is irrelevent, however, because the state has no right to define marriage as a means to any conclusion other than two loving individuals being romantically and legally bound to each other. Limbaugh's "old version" of marriage isn't objectionable (and as I stated above, doesn't exclude same-sex couples), but it's also not the only way to define marriage.

 

Why should the state have any sort of obligation to formally recognize who's (purportedly monogamously) shacking up with whom?

 

It's very nice that the state does it--I'm not complainin'--but to say that the state must not only permit me to have a sexual relationship with someone (via my right of private association), but affirmatively say "hey, JAG!  Nice little relationship ya got there.  Let us give you formal praise for your choice, memorialize the relationship in the state archives, and give you a few pecuniary taxpayer-subsidized benefits as well--and all because we, the State, are just hopeless romantics!"?

 

That seems . . . well, unpersuasive. 

 

Government often allocates benefits to specific groups, for the purpose of attaining a particular goal; and in general terms it is perfectly fine for government to deny those benefits to those who are unlikely to attain that goal (which is why I don't get that contract to produce F-35s that I keep bidding for).  Where marriage is concerned, it should be enough that government makes some basic efforts to deny marriage to those straight couples that it knows are incapable of procreating healthy children.  That's what government has done by--for example--prohibiting marriages within a certain degree of consanguinity, and allowing for annulment when it turns out that one party or the other is demonstrably sterile.  It's just that these steps haven't caught up with the times--up until a few decades ago, there was just no way of knowing who was fertile and who wasn't.  (Well, you could tell with a menopausal woman, I suppose; but if you deny marriage to menopausal women but not men of a particular age--there's gender discrimination; and the simple fact is that a man can be fertile very late in life--probate law didn't come up with the concept of a "fertile octogenarian" in a vacuum.)

 

Good. Gay rights issues aside, the revocation of tax exempt status from religious institutions has been long overdue, especially in a society in which many churches (including the LDS Church) have corporate dealings . . .

 

 

But they already pay taxes on those particular earnings. Surely you aren't saying that religious institutions should be double-taxed merely because they are religious institutions?

 

And, do you think all nonprofit entities should lose nonprofit status?  Or just churches?  If the latter--on what grounds do you give a group non-profit status?

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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...the state has no right to define marriage as a means to any conclusion other than two loving individuals being romantically and legally bound to each other.

 

 

I find it interesting that the concept of the state has been around as long as it has, and Godless' notion has only existed for less than a dozen or two years.  Yet he states it with such surety, as if the notion was so obviously above reproach, it needs no justification or persuasion.

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To think that gay couples just want to satisfy momentary romantic desires without any intention of creating a family and contributing to the well-being of our society (because straight couples NEVER do that :rolleyes: ) is simply naive and incorrect. True, they can't procreate, but there are countless gay couples raising healthy, loving families through the channels of adoption.

 

Also, Limbaugh's argument conveniently overlooks the myriad straight couples who are biologically incapable of procreation. Are we to believe that they can't start families?

 

All of this procreation talk is irrelevent, however, because the state has no right to define marriage as a means to any conclusion other than two loving individuals being romantically and legally bound to each other. Limbaugh's "old version" of marriage isn't objectionable (and as I stated above, doesn't exclude same-sex couples), but it's also not the only way to define marriage.

 

 

There is no life in homosexual principles. It is a dead end. Our species cannot survive if we subscribe to homosexual principles. Life is in heterosexual principles. There is no other way for our species to live except through the principles of heterosexuality. Homosexuality cannot exist without heterosexuality. Heterosexuality has primacy in nature and in principle.

 

It doesn't matter which individual is capable or not capable of procreating. There is no life in homosexual principles. It is an impossibility and that is what matters to the question of marriage.

 

Godless, you and millions of others have diluted yourselves in to believing a fictional version of reality. Only by denying reality can you successfully argue that homosexual "marriage" is "good" for society or on equal footing with authenticate marriage. The reality that you are denying is that homosexuals and homosexual "marriages" cannot be relied on for the long term survival and good of the human race. We just can't. If a society supports homosexual unions it will ALWAYS be subsidized (so to speak) on the back of real marriage up until society just can't afford or just doesn't have the luxury any more to support a way of life that literally doesn't bear fruit or seed.

 

-Finrock

Edited by Finrock

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I find it interesting that the concept of the state has been around as long as it has, and Godless' notion has only existed for less than a dozen or two years.  Yet he states it with such surety, as if the notion was so obviously above reproach, it needs no justification or persuasion.

 

I'm sure people felt the same way during the womens' suffrage movement. There's no reason for the State to cling to outdated social concepts. Times change, and the laws that run our society need to reflect that.

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Yes, because it is the courts' job to interpret and apply the tax code. In fact, this has happened before (to a religious university, not to an actual church, that discriminated based on race). The case was Bob Jones University v. United States, decided by the Supreme Court in 1983.

The Bob Jones court held as follows:

So the question isn't whether the institution discriminates in allocating a government benefit (like marriage); the question is whether the institution discriminates at all. And the Church does.

Now, the Court did limit the application of the ruling to educational institutions; but I think the public and judicial mood is now right for extending that ruling to churches as well since anti-religious sentiment is on the rise and the underlying IRS nonprofit statute specifically encompasses both types of institutions.

 

 

Yes, because it is the courts' job to interpret and apply the tax code. In fact, this has happened before (to a religious university, not to an actual church, that discriminated based on race). The case was Bob Jones University v. United States, decided by the Supreme Court in 1983.

The Bob Jones court held as follows:

So the question isn't whether the institution discriminates in allocating a government benefit (like marriage); the question is whether the institution discriminates at all. And the Church does.

Now, the Court did limit the application of the ruling to educational institutions; but I think the public and judicial mood is now right for extending that ruling to churches as well since anti-religious sentiment is on the rise and the underlying IRS nonprofit statute specifically encompasses both types of institutions.

 

Thanks for that. Might I question you a little more?

 

What gets me on the discrimination claim is that in my mind, anyway, discrimination implies an action. Questioning the abstract beliefs of various groups in order to create/enforce laws seems a longwinded goose chase.

 

Were a church to say "Okay, we won't perform marriage ceremonies for anyone" I see that as avoiding the discrimination charge altogether as in the given example of the Church getting only in the business of temple sealings.

 

But to take away privileges (and I concede the tax exempt status is a privilege and not a right) based on beliefs with no real actions stemming from them seems rather Orwellian.

 

This is just me speaking, I'll have to look more into the case.

 

 

Good. Gay rights issues aside, the revocation of tax exempt status from religious institutions has been long overdue, especially in a society in which many churches (including the LDS Church) have corporate dealings and others (with the notable exception of the LDS Church) do not hesitate to endorse political parties and candidates. Churches cling to their tax-exempt status for dear life, but the jeopardizing of it is entirely their own doing.

 

I concede churches have no business getting into politics with anything more than your church luncheon political chit-chat and I'm grateful for laws that make church business dealings more clear (as has been said, those business dealings are paid for), but since you added the modifier "especially" that implies that churches by the very nature of being churches should lose the tax-exempt status.

 

Perhaps you're right and the time of tax-exempt statuses has passed, but why just churches? A little church with no political or corporate connections... why that over a sports team or a community organization or what have you? I'm afraid I'm going to need more explanation on why churches should lose the status and no other type of organization.

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I'm sure people felt the same way during the womens' suffrage movement.

 

 

Well, yeah.  And people have also felt so utterly sure of themselves and their place at the cusp of human evolution and understanding, and been totally off base too.

 

The deal is, unsupported assertions are worth zip when it comes to interacting with the other side.

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Thanks for that. Might I question you a little more?

 

What gets me on the discrimination claim is that in my mind, anyway, discrimination implies an action. Questioning the abstract beliefs of various groups in order to create/enforce laws seems a longwinded goose chase.

 

Were a church to say "Okay, we won't perform marriage ceremonies for anyone" I see that as avoiding the discrimination charge altogether as in the given example of the Church getting only in the business of temple sealings.

 

But to take away privileges (and I concede the tax exempt status is a privilege and not a right) based on beliefs with no real actions stemming from them seems rather Orwellian.

 

This is just me speaking, I'll have to look more into the case.

 

It's been a LONG time since I read the case in my entirety (Wikipedia has a link to the text, I think; but I don't have the time to delve into it right now); but as I recall--it's not necessarily that discriminatory beliefs are being adopted; it's that the institution actively discriminates.  Bob Jones University wasn't just saying that interracial marriages were bad--they actually had a rule against their students being in interracial relationships, and those who violated the rule were subject to university discipline.  Similarly, Mormonism has a rule against gay sex; and those who violate that rule are subject to church discipline.

 

I THINK that the logic basically went like this: 

1.  The nonprofit statute (501( c)(3)) says that the institution has to work towards the public good

2.  The Civil Rights Act of 1963 says racial discrimination is bad

3.  Bob Jones University discriminated on the basis of race.

4.  Since Bob Jones University is doing something that Congress has declared to be bad, it cannot be said to be working towards the public good.  

 

  Bob Jones University does not deserve tax-exempt status under 501( c)(3).

 

So, going back to Mormonism:  Theoretically, we can teach that gay marriage is bad, all we want.  But, when two gays say "we understand that, but we refuse to be celibate and we insist you administer your baptismal and temple rites to us"--if Bob Jones gets extended to religions, the Church may well find itself losing tax-exempt status if it refuses to administer those rites.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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