capitol dome section with flagWritten by Don Byrd

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen this week assured members of the Senate Judiciary Oversight Committee that he would not remove the tax-exempt status of any religious college or university on the basis of the institution’s religious beliefs regarding marriage. This, hopefully, will put to rest concerns that arose in the same-sex marriage cases decided by the Supreme Court earlier this year.

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) quotes the exchange in a press release:

“Will you commit to me that as long as you remain on as the commissioner of the IRS, you will not, in the absence of a directive by Congress or by the courts, a subsequent directive, one not in place right now, that you will not take any action to remove the tax exempt status from religious colleges or universities based on their believe that the marriage is between a man and a woman,” Lee asked at a Judiciary Oversight Subcommittee hearing.

“I can make that commitment,” Koskinen said.

You can watch video of the conversation below:

Senator Lee is the primary sponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act, which attempts to protect religious organizations and institutions from adverse government action arising out of their religious beliefs regarding same-sex marriage.

The Baptist Joint Comittee’s Brent Walker addressed the issue of tax exemption and same-sex marriage in a column after the Court’s oral argument.

Visit the BJC’s resources on Religious Liberty and Same-sex Marriage.