Jerry Falwell’s Tax-Exempt Status Challenged Over Political Endorsements
A religious watchdog group has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service charging that an organization run by the Rev. Jerry Falwell has violated its tax-exempt status by endorsing President Bush's re-election.
In a letter to the IRS, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, wrote that Jerry Falwell Ministries had disseminated email newsletters promoting George Bush in violation of tax rules which restrict tax-exempt religious groups and charitable organizations from engaging in politics.
"For conservative people of faith, voting for principle this year means voting for the re-election of George W. Bush," Falwell wrote in the July 1 issue of his email newsletter "Falwell Confidential'' and on his Web site, falwell.com. "The alternative, in my mind, is simply unthinkable. To the pro-life, pro-family, pro-traditional marriage, pro-America voters in this nation, we must determine that President Bush is the man with our interests at heart."
Falwell, as the founder of the Moral Majority, has been an outspoken supporter of the GOP, as well as a vociferous anti-gay evangelical for over 20 years. In 2001, two weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Falwell, and fellow evangelical Pat Robertson, stated on television that homosexuality was in part to blame for the attacks, although Falwell later said he regretted making the comments.
A victory in insurance for gay couples
BY ERIN TEXEIRA
When Tom Hroncich married his longtime male partner in Canada this year, the newlywed was delighted to receive well-wishes from the Canadian border guards, the Toronto marriage license clerks and the minister.
But he knew such embraces would not last.
A few weeks after the wedding, the Bay Shore man called Geico Auto Insurance to get a new, joint policy - with all its spousal benefits - but an insurance representative told him he was not eligible.
After Hroncich filed a complaint earlier this month, Geico quietly reversed that decision, saying it will offer married gay couples the same privileges that opposite-sex spouses receive. Three other insurers in New York - Allstate, State Farm and Electric - also said they will follow suit.
The decisions appear to make New York the first state in the nation that will not marry gay couples but will offer insurance benefits for such unions formed elsewhere, experts said