Contrary to plan, Catholic Churches in the state of Washington will not be allowed to collect funds to help overturn that state’s impending same-sex marriage law. State law does not allow “bundling,” or third-parties, to act as intermediaries for contributions — even if they’re just accepting sealed envelopes. Voters in November will go to the polls to decide if the law supporting marriage equality Governor Christine Gregoire signed in February should stand, or be overturned.
The diocese’s chief of staff, Monsignor Robert Siler, said Tuesday that the expected collection date was Sept. 8-9.
But Lori Anderson, a spokeswoman for the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, says no organization can be an intermediary for a contribution. She says the church can hand out envelopes, but either a member of Preserve Washington has to be on hand to collect them or parishioners must send them in individually.
Preserve Marriage Washington has lagged in fundraising so far, raising just $471,000 compared with the nearly $6.1 million raised by Washington United for Marriage, which supports the gay marriage law.
Washington United for Marriage announced Monday that the group has reserved $5 million for television advertising starting sometime after Labor Day.
In April, the Archdiocese of Seattle deployed parishioners and used Church funds and resources to help collect 120,000 signatures that put Washington State’s same-sex marriage law on November’s ballot, in an effort to repeal it.
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