No gay marriages? Tax that church

It’s difficult to see how the nationwide legalization of gay marriage could have any kind of significant negative repercussions for anybody who’s not gay. Difficult – but not impossible. Because now that the US government formally recognizes marriage equality as a fundamental right, it really shouldn’t skew the tax code so as to give millions of dollars in tax breaks to groups which remain steadfastly bigoted on the subject.

I’m talking, of course, about churches.

For all that the US Constitution mandates the separation of church and state, the two do overlap in quite a few areas. (Just look at your currency, with its slogan of “In God We Trust”.) One of those areas is taxation: the US government subsidizes churches to the tune of many billions of dollars per year by giving them tax-exempt status. One conservative estimate put the sum at $71 billion, but the fact is that no one really knows what the number is.