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Church Tax To Fund Anti-Hate Initiatives
NEWS 10/06/2039 11:21 PM ET
Church Tax To Fund Anti-Hate Initiatives

Chris DeBoert

CC BY-SA 4.0 - image changes released under same license church by Marie Loughin | Writer image: CC BY 4.0 untitled-362.jpg by Mark Welsh | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only.
The American way is inclusion, diversity and liberty for ALL.

On Wednesday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Vicky Katrobian handed down the first list of charitable organizations to benefit from funds collected under May's Defined Religious Contributions Act.

The list, issued in defiance of conservative efforts to have the Supreme Court overturn the new law, has inflamed partisan rhetoric on both sides of the debate.

Among the organizations to benefit are:

- Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
- United Way For Non-Conformers
- Organization For Trans Rights
- The Respecies Initiative
- Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
- Homoqueer International
- United Homeless LGBT Front
- Children For Independence

One of the first to release a statement after the list was issued, was Congressman Dan Clement (R-ID).

"I cannot believe that Secretary Katrobian would be so reckless as to release her list now. She must understand that Republicans will continue to fight this egregious example of Democratic federal overreach and we look forward to the Supreme Court's ruling on this matter."

It is clear though, that not all Republicans are in favor of battling this issue. With mid-terms approaching, many feel it would be in the party's best interest to move on from the issue. A recent Gallup poll found that 74% of Americans are in favor of wealthier religious institutions paying tax.

"There is little to be gained from challenging this law, which has broad support, when there are far more important issues to battle," said Minority Leader Simon Shumacker, who is facing a difficult challenge in Texas' 7th Congressional District. His District houses many pastors likely impacted by the new law.

Democrats for the most part, are united in their intent to see the wealthiest religious institutions taxed. The organizations benefitting from the funds collected delivered a letter to Secretary Katrobian thanking her for her efforts, and those of the Stader administration.

Secretary Katrobian's own statement upon releasing the list, reflected her desire to see the issue settled:

"Whilst we all understand Republicans' concerns regarding the Defined Religious Contributions Act, it's past time to underscore the need for very wealthy religious institutions to pay tax like the rest of us, and for the victims of hatred and discrimination to receive some redress. The government looks forward to its day in court and is confident of victory."
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