SPOKANE, Wash. -- Churches in Washington state are being reminded that collecting money for a political cause is not OK -- including a high-stakes ballot battle over gay marriage.
The state's Public Disclosure Commission recently learned that Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima sent a letter to pastors in 41 parishes asking them to take up a special collection for Preserve Marriage Washington, the group that is trying to overturn the state's same-sex marriage law.
A formal complaint, however, was not filed. Lori Anderson, communication and training officer for the state commission, said the reminder was merely precautionary.
"There's been no formal action. There's no story here. Preserve Marriage Washington and our partners have done everything within full compliance of the law," said PMW Deputy Campaign Director Chris Plante.
Anderson explained that any organization -- religious or not -- cannot serve as an intermediary for a contribution, though it can freely promote a campaign.