Although the Supreme Court recently acknowledged that same-sex civil marriages were an essential right in the United States, the religious non-profits’ tax status will not be retracted by the Internal Revenue Service.
Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma Attorney General, stated the decision was “a victory for religious freedom in the United States and for non-profit charities, churches, and religiously affiliated universities who feared they would be denied tax-exempt status by the IRS because their sincerely held religious beliefs prohibit them from participating in same-sex marriage.”
According to Pruitt, his office will be sure the IRS upholds its decision and will continue to verify and “ensure Americans aren’t targeted unfairly for exercising their religious rights.” Furthermore, Pruitt feels the decision from the IRS gives these organizations promise that First Amendment rights are protected.
During the Supreme Court’s debate about same-sex marriages, Justice Samuel Alito questioned U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verilli on if a religious educational institution that believed marriage was only a union of one man and one woman would be subjected to its tax exempt status being revoked. According to Verilli, this question was “certainly going to be an issue.”
At the moment, a federal law does not exist that prevents discrimination due to an individual’s sexual orientation. There are certain federal guidelines that have been used by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that could validate a lawsuit be presented by employees who are part of a same-sex civil marriage.
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Law Offices of Darrin T. Mish, P.A.: Tax Attorney