ERIC MILLER, a former Indiana gubernatorial candidate, has twin passions: banning gay marriage and eliminating property taxes.
So it must have been quite a coup for him to find an issue that combines both. In a newsletter sent to members of his conservative Advance America organization, he warns that Indiana churches are at risk of losing their tax-exempt status if they do not push for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. He cites the case of a United Methodist Church in New Jersey that “lost its state tax exemption on their pavilion because they denied the request of two lesbian couples to use it for a civil union ceremony.”
Now for the rest of the story: It wasn’t a church, but the Methodist-affiliated Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association that was involved, according to the New York Times. The tax exemption was allowed not for religious reasons but under a special environmental program to encourage the use of privately owned land for public recreation and conservation. And the association president himself pointed out in a written statement that “99 percent of the Camp Meeting’s land was recertified as tax-exempt.”
If Miller wants to sell his same-sex marriage ban, he should find a better way than trying to frighten Hoosiers into believing the tax-exempt status of churches is at stake.
Advance Indiana has often shared with you the complete absurdity of the arguments put forth by Miller and the AFA of Indiana's Micah Clark. Seldom does anyone in the mainstream media pay attention to what these two guys are saying. Unfortunately, they manage to reach deep into our State House with their totally illogical and homo-bigoted inspired rhetoric, which helps explain why Indiana is one of only five states in the country without a hate crimes law. These two guys run around telling folks ministers will be jailed for speaking out against homosexuality if Indiana adopts a hate crimes law. Of course, the law would have to suspend our federal and state constitutions to accomplish that fete, but hey, whatever works to get the job done.