Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tax Exemptions and Nondiscrimination

According to a recent New York Times article, local tax assessors in Northampton, Massachusetts, tried to impose taxes on Smith College, arguing that the women's college engaged in sex discrimination and was thus not charitable.

This sort of thing does not bode well for religious freedom. Homosexual rights advocates frequently argue that taking adverse action against a person who has engaged in homosexual conduct is akin to race discrimination. They then invoke Bob Jones University v. United States, in which the Supreme Court upheld the IRS's determination that BJU was not entitled to tax-exempt status because it discriminated on the basis of race; to invoke the Bob Jones case is to suggest that charities that hold and enforce traditional views on human sexuality should lose their tax-exempt status.