Washington state warns Catholic bishop to stop fund-raising against gay marriage
Washington state law prevents organizations, including churches, from raising money from individuals to give to a political campaign. A Catholic bishop has been fund-raising in opposition of same-sex marriage.
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 Sept. 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.
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