Could gay couples sue IRS over LDS’ Yes on Prop 8 activities?

Sue’s thoughts: sue the IRS to compel stripping the Mormon Church of their tax-exempt status.  It might work, because their Yes on Prop 8 activities appear to violate laws forbidding non-profits to engage in political activity. She specifically focuses on who might have the right to sue:

In the 1980’s, Abortion Rights Mobilization and other plaintiffs sued the IRS in an attempt to compel the revocation of the Catholic Church’s tax exempt status under 501(c)(3).

The Catholic Church had been campaigning vigorously against abortion rights, and pouring a lot of money into their cause.

The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which held that the plaintiffs had no legal standing to bring the suit.

As I understand it, “standing” is the right to initiate or participate in a legal action.

NY Times

Under Supreme Court doctrine, those bringing lawsuits in Federal court must first demonstrate that they have standing to sue, usually by showing that they have suffered in some concrete way.

In the earlier Appeals Court decision, the judges determined that some of the plaintiffs had no injury beyond their “discomfiture at watching the Government allegedly fail to enforce the law with respect to a third party,” and that the abortion rights organizations did not have standing as competitors because by refraining from political activity, “they choose not to compete” with the church.

In the current matter, churches (LDS most prominently) seek to curtail the ability of the state to govern civil unions, and the ability of same-sex couples to marry. They wish to deny a plethora of legal benefits that go hand-in-hand with being married under the law.

Hence, you have injured parties, not hypotheticals.

I am not an attorney, I am a forensic accountant. Therefore I cannot argue the issue of legal standing vis-a-vis same-sex marriage. But it seems worth asking a civil rights attorney about.


  1. Children have a right to a mom and a dad. The state of California allowing same-gender marriage may seem progressive to some– –but what it says to me is that the state of California sanctions a relationship that does not best serve children.

    While no heterosexual parents are perfect, and some situations are down right abusive and traumatic, the response is not to eliminate a child’s right to a mom and a dad. The response is to better educate, better encourage, better help parents be better.

    While a lesbian couple or a gay couple may provide a stable home, love, and support to a child. By definition, a same-gender marriage cannot provide them a mom and a dad. Every child has the right to a mom and a dad.

    Society should sacrifice for the health and well being of its children.

    This is why I am voting “yes” on prop 8 (on my absentee ballot).

    yes on prop 8!

    • So, what you’re saying is that you want to deny the rights of single parent households, too, since the children would not have a mom and a dad. How “progressive” you are. Think before you type, please.

  2. What an off-topic response! In California, gays and lesbians can already adopt children– as can single men and women of any sexual orientation. The issue of parenthood has nothing to do with this. It’s an issue of social contract– muddied by the issue of religious sacrament that needs to be separated out.

  3. “Children have a right to a mom and a dad.”

    And on what grounds do you make that assertion? Is that reflected in the US Bill of Rights? The Constitution of California? Perhaps the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Or did you just make it up?

    Incidentally, if a child does have a mom and a dad, and one of those parents passes away, which parent do you consider to be the human rights violator? The deceased or the widow/widower?

    Anyhow, on the real question at hand, I’m definitely not a lawyer, but based on the quote from the Appeals Court decision, it looks like the plaintiff should be a non-religious organization that is opposing Prop 8, like the California Teachers Association for example.

  4. It’s time for GLBT to sue the Mormon Church and get their tax exemption taken away. They have gone too far.

  5. Prop8Discussion has it all wrong. I took care of my niece and nephew for five years while their mother was out stoned on Crack/Cocaine. Whom was the better parent as they had no food, no medical, no clothing, no shelter until I took them in. I just got back from Florida searching for Caylee Anthony where her mother killed her and drove around for days. I wouldn’t ever harm a child like this heartless woman did.

  6. I can’t believe you people keep saying, ” What an off-topic response! In California, gays and lesbians can already adopt children– as can single men and women of any sexual orientation. The issue of parenthood has nothing to do with this. It’s an issue of social contract– muddied by the issue of religious sacrament that needs to be separated out.” Basically what you are saying is,” Who gives a crap about Children or values, or anything. I want my rights and to hell with everything else.” Wow, what a grown up way to assert yourself. I have too many homosexual friends to bag on most of you, because all of them are much smarter then you, and see past just themselves. So, I know it is not all homosexuals, but you guys are down right ignorant. WE DON’T want our kids growing up thinking that homo is the way to go. What is so confusing about that? Stop telling us to forget what is important to us. GO TO MASS. You can get married there. The teachers will read about Kings and Kings getting married, they won’t send you a notice, and you can’t pull your Kids out of class. It will be perfect becasue all of your kids will grow up Homo too.

    • You said you have homosexual friends, Joe? I find that hard to believe with your comments. Just because a kid is raised by homosexual parents does not mean the child will be homosexual, too. In fact, it’s not really all that common for children raised by homosexuals to become such. They’re simply more open-minded, tolerant, and willing to accept people for who they are. It’s too bad the Christian community is so dead against people’s rights, and against being Christian, these days.

    • Wait… If homosexuals raise homosexual children, then wouldn’t that mean that hetreosexuals raise hetrosexual children? In which case, where did homosexuals come from? The answer is simple: Sexuality is not all about how they’re raised, but about genetics. And just like blue eyes and blond hair can skip generations, so can homosexuality. The gene survives because it’s recessive, and is carried by the non-gay siblings of gay and lesbian people. It also accounts for why homosexuals are fewer in number, just as red heads are a small percentage of the population. It’s genetics, not how someone is raised.

      I love how people would prefer to see children beaten and treated poorly in foster homes (and there are some terrible stories coming out of Florida in the past year or so about foster homes). Would you really rather see a child raised in these horrible conditions, with a foster mother and father that abuse them, beat them, starve them, than see them live a life free of this torture with a loving gay couple?

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