Gay Rights Group: Probe Swaggart's Taxes
.c The Associated Press
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A gay rights group is asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the tax-exempt status of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries following the preacher's recent remark that he would ``kill'' any gay man who looked at him.
The Capital City Alliance suggested that Swaggart's remarks disqualify his businesses from continuing to enjoy no-tax privileges.
``Swaggart Businesses/Ministries should not continue to enjoy the benefits of 'tax-free living' when his organizations use millions of tax-free dollars to travel around and degrade taxpaying Americans,'' said Joe Traigle, the group's co-chairman.
In a broadcast this month, Swaggart was discussing his opposition to gay marriage when he said ``I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry.''
``And I'm going to be blunt and plain: If one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died,'' Swaggart says, to laughter and applause from the congregation. He later apologized, saying the remark was meant to be humorous.
The gay rights group dismissed Swaggart's apology Tuesday. ``We all know that there are people out there that take these things very, very seriously,'' said Randal Beach, a lawyer for the organization.
Swaggart was a popular television evangelist during the 1980s until a 1987 sex scandal involving a prostitute that he met in a seedy New Orleans motel. Swaggart never confessed to anything more than an unspecified sin. A few years later, he was stopped by police while driving in California with a suspected prostitute in his car.
He did not immediately respond to an e-mail message seeking comment Tuesday.
09/28/04 19:47 EDT
How these people called themselves Christians is beyond me