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Utah Billionaire Gives Massive Donation To LGBTQ+ Equality Group After Cutting Ties With Mormon Church

Utah Billionaire Gives Massive Donation To LGBTQ+ Equality Group After Cutting Ties With Mormon Church
The Trade Desk/YouTube; RBL/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Tech billionaire Jeff Green, CEO of The Trading Desk and thought to be the richest person from Utah, has made waves after publicly cutting ties with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church.

Green formally left the church by writing a letter to its President Russell Nelson in which he lambasted the church's stances on women's equality and LGBTQ+ rights and said he believes the church is "actively doing harm in the world."

He accompanied his departure with a sizable donation to LGBTQ+ rights organization Equality Utah and the creation of a scholarship fund for LGBTQ+ students in the state.

Green's scholarship includes funding for LGBTQ+ students who need money in order to leave Brigham Young University, the Mormon church's prestigious college infamous for its draconian "honor code," which includes a ban on same-sex relationships between students enforced in part by police surveillance.

Such an approach is characteristic of the Mormon church as a whole, which forbids same-sex relationships and expects woman to adhere to rigid gender roles.

Green called the church out for these beliefs, as well as its approaches to race issues, in his withdrawal from the church. Green stipulated that while most of the church's members are "good people trying to do right," he believes the church is "actively and currently" causing harm with its policies.

Green wrote:

“I believe the Mormon Church has hindered global progress in women’s rights, civil rights and racial equality, and LGBTQ.+ rights."

Green also criticized the Church's extravagant, multi-billion-dollar tax-free wealth, painting a picture of a church that is fleecing its members.

“This money comes from people, often poor, who wholeheartedly believe you represent the will of Jesus. They give, expecting the blessings of heaven.”

In a statement, Equality Utah thanked Green for his financial support in the wake of his resignation, crediting him with allowing the organization to continue its work into the future.

"Jeff’s financial support will ensure that we will remain a prominent force in Utah politics for years to come."

On Twitter, people applauded Green's move and the candor with which he made it.

In addition to his $600,000 donation to Equality Utah, Green has pledged to give away 90% of his $5 billion fortune during his life and at his death.