Central WA churches collecting money to fight same-sex marriage - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Central WA Catholic churches collecting money to fight same-sex marriage

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- Same sex marriage is a hot button issue that has a lot of people on both sides. And come November, voters will decide if they want it here in Washington.

But the Bishop of Yakima's Catholic Diocese says the move would separate marriage and procreation, something the church is against.

"That is really how we are best served as a society, when we uplift and encourage men and women to share the gift of life in raising their children," said Bishop Joseph Tyson.

Bishop Tyson says he's allowed Preserve Marriage Washington to collect money from parishioners to fight same sex marriage. But that has other Catholic organizations concerned the bishop is sending the wrong message.

"There's nothing that says that the Catholic church has to change their position on marriage. This says that the state has a right and a responsibility to respect all citizens of the state," said Barbara Guzzo with Catholics for Marriage Equality Washington State.

Collecting money for Preserve Marriage Washington has also raised some red flags from the Public Disclosure Commission.

They say organizations, like churches, cannot collect funding, rather individuals, not asked by church, but by Preserve Marriage Washington have to do the work.

"The campaign is saying that the church can appoint somebody to collect contributions and then turn them over to the campaign. But that's actually not the case," said Lori Anderson with the Public Disclosure Commission.

Preserve Marriage Washington says it's their understanding that they are in compliance with state law, but the PDC says they're still working with them to make sure everything is done right.

"We're not aware that anybody has actually carried out the instructions and done any illegal campaign activities," said Anderson.

Bishop Tyson says regardless of the instructions Preserve Marriage Washington gives, he says his churches have all been instructed how to provide donation envelopes without breaking state law.