Dec 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Tech billionaire officially resigns from Mormon church

 A statue of Brigham Young, second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints stands in the center of Salt Lake City with the Mormon Temple spires in the background 19 July 2001.
A statue of Brigham Young, second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Salt Lake City. Photo: George Frey/AFP via Getty Images

A billionaire from Utah announced he's officially resigning this week from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and pledged to donate $600,000 to an LGBTQ advocacy group, the Salt Lake Tribune first reported.

Why it matters: The letter, dated Dec. 23, is a rare public criticism of the church by a high-profile figure. Tech executive Jeff Green wrote: "I believe the Mormon Church has hindered global progress in women’s rights, civil rights and racial equality, and LGBTQ+ rights."

Driving the news: Green, chair and CEO of The Trade Desk, left more than a decade ago and has since moved to California, but he wrote to President Russell Nelson to say that he wanted to make it official and have his records removed, according to the Tribune, which obtained the letter Monday.

What else he's saying: "While most members are good people trying to do right, I believe the church is actively and currently doing harm in the world," Green wrote.

  • "The church leadership is not honest about its history, its finances, and its advocacy," he continued.
  • Green pledged $600,000 to Equality Utah, with "almost half of the fund will go to a new scholarship program to help LGBTQ+ students in Utah," the billionaire said.

Of note: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2019 said it would allow children of LGBTQ+ parents to be baptized and receive blessings from the church, in a reversal of a 2015 decision.

  • The church announced then that same-sex marriages would not be considered apostasy. Instead, any "immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way."
  • Representatives for the church did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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