DOMA Supreme Strikedown Could Lead to Loss of Non-Profit Status for Traditional Religions

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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The left’s War on Marriage has been won.

Once all the cake shops have been intimidated and every state and government agency is holding its own pride events, look for this to be the next frontier in gay rights. And if you think it can’t happen, few thought that religious groups could be forced to fund abortions for their employees.

Welcome to Progressivism, where insecurity and tyranny make an unlovely combination.

Based on Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling, in which the Court majority determined that the Defense of Marriage Act’s federal definition of marriage had to incorporate state-based same-sex marriages, Internal Revenue Service regulations could be modified to remove non-profit status for churches across the country.

The DOMA decision makes clear that marriage is a state-to-state issue, meaning that religious institutions that receive non-profit status on the federal level but do not perform or accept same-sex marriages in states where it is legal could have non-profit status revoked. Furthermore, should the IRS move to revoke federal non-profit status for churches and synagogues that do not perform same-sex marriage more generally, the Court could easily justify that decision on the basis of “eradicating discrimination” in religious education.

In 1983, the Supreme Court ruled in Bob Jones University v. United States that it was within the scope of the First Amendment’s protections for religion for the IRS to revoke the tax exempt status for the university based on its policy prohibiting interracial dating. The Court determined that the “Government has a fundamental, overriding interest in eradicating racial discrimination in education … which substantially outweighs whatever burden denial of tax benefits places on [the university’s] exercise of their religious beliefs.”

The Supreme Court is clearly leaning toward a similar move here. The Court stated in Romer v. Evans (1996) that states could not take measures to prevent future distinction of gays and lesbians as a protected class under state law; in Lawrence v. Texas (2003) the Court ruled that same-sex sexual activity was Constitutionally protected; in the DOMA case on Wednesday, the Court ruled that DOMA was unconstitutional not merely on federalism grounds, but because it violated the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment and the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.

It seems inconceivable, but so far we’ve had cake shops and photographers sued for turning down gay marriage events and a church was targeted because it refused to allow the use of its property.

The Boy Scouts are on the way being beaten. The next target will be religious schools of any kind. And then come the actual institutions. When they came for the cake shops, I didn’t speak up, etc.

  • Texas Patriot

    Loss of tax-exempt status for religions may not be such a bad thing.

  • Slaw76

    There is no such thing as a homosexual “marriage.” There is only
    marriage. Marriage is the union of a man and woman in holy matrimony. What is
    actually being debated is a change in the legal definition of marriage. Even if
    the legal definition was changed (as it has been in a few states), marriage is
    still the union of a man and woman in holy matrimony. But, the law is saying
    otherwise. It is like the legal fiction of corporations being
    “persons” or “paying taxes.” Corporations are not people
    nor do they pay taxes. However, they legally are and do. Similarly, two people
    of the same sex celebrating their sexual relationship is not, nor can be, a
    marriage. But, the law can call it that, thereby creating another legal
    fiction. A government could make a law that horses with stripes painted on them
    are zebras; but it does not make it so.

    It would be nice if people stopped acceding to the stupid
    euphemisms that the Left carefully creates to deceive the general public (e.g.,
    marriage “equality,” homosexual “rights”). Marriage law already
    treats everyone equally (i.e., anyone can marry one person of the opposite sex,
    who’s of age, and consents). But that’s not good enough for the Homosexual
    Normalization Lobby; they don’t want to be treated equally under the law. They
    want special privileges to legally redefine a fundamental institution of civil
    society so as to create the false impression that their sexual behavior is the
    equivalent of normal sexual relationships (i.e., a man and a woman).

  • DogmaelJones1

    Loss of anything to the IRS is always a bad thing. After all, it’s a looter establishing the terms of your existence. If you don’t meet those terms, you can be terminated.

  • sacreole

    Liberal fascism is upon us.

  • nelly2004

    Tax free status should go totally- a lot of organizations may not make a profit but acquire assets and get a free ride when about 50% of the people pay for everything. It’s infuriating that the organizations that were involved in changing our educational system were tax free.

    Where are the patriotic lawyers who will help the American people turn the tables on the federal government? To file a class action lawsuit on behalf of the American people suing them for governing without our consent ?(cease and desist or Americans will divert their federal taxes into escrow)

    Other lawsuits should be filed against the individuals in the IRS and other government departments who have embezzled the people’s money for personal gain.

    We must make them accountable.

    This administration knows the power of lawsuits- they are constantly suing states, companies and individuals – it is time the get a taste of their own medicine.

    The federal government has become a bunch of bullies who think they are above the law. Abusers never change.

    If we don’t take a stand and push back, we look as weak as we perceive Obama in his foreign policy.

    Our military is increasingly being used to help our enemies!
    They are putting their lives on the line every day to preserve our freedom. Our government is wasting money that could help them rebuild their lives!

    The least we can do to show our appreciation to them is to fight for our freedom at home. A car magnet supporting our troops doesn’t cut it. They’re brave. We have to be brave.

    Millions and millions of Americans are frustrated and angry. We need a valid way to fight this.
    This is my idea so I am putting it out there.

    The government took our leverage when they instituted automatic payroll tax deduction many years ago without our consent.

    The power of the purse is still ours.

    A class action lawsuit from the American people is something everyone can take part in easily without having to go anywhere.

    The threat of the people withholding their federal taxes is the one thing that will get them to stop in their tracks and listen.

    It’s not going to be easy. We have to take that risk to restore freedom and a government that represents us.

    The time is over to wait for the right people to get into office.

    Unified, the American people are the only ones with the power to demand and get such huge changes in such a short period of time.

    We need to turn the tables on them before the situation gets out of hand and there is no longer a peaceful solution.

  • VHG1

    When welfare recipients and Food Stamp scammer get taxed on their benefits…well that would be “the fair thing”