Billionaire Jeff T. Green made quite the statement earlier this month when he announced his resignation from the Mormon church and subsequently donated over half a million to an LGBTQ+ group.
Green – who is reportedly the wealthiest man from Utah – publicized a letter to the president of the Church of the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Russel M. Nelson, on December 20th.
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While Green said he has a “deep love for many Mormons,” his departure from the church was motivated by disagreement with certain aspects of the religion. Namely, Mormonism’s opposition to progressive social issues, including those affecting minorities, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ plus community.
“I believe the Mormon church has hindered global progress in women’s rights, civil rights and racial equality, and LGBTQ+ rights,” he stated.
Similarly, Green criticized the church’s wealth – which is estimated to be more than $100 billion in assets – but failing to do more for its members as well as the global population. Green went so far as to say the church has “exploited its members and their need for hope.”
Continuing on, Green explained that he hadn’t considered himself a member of the church for many years, PEOPLE Magazine reports. He also asked that his official records be removed from the church.
Green ended the letter by pledging to donate $600,000 to Equality Utah as a show of support for the LGBTQ+ community. The organization describes itself as Utah’s “premiere LGBTQ civil rights and advocacy organization.” The organization later released a statement on Twitter thanking the billionaire for his support.
It’s been reported that a majority of the donation will go towards funding a scholarship program to help LGBTQ+ college students in Utah, including those who want to attend Brigham Young University (BYU), a Mormon university in Provo, Utah, known for an honor code that prohibits its students from engaging in homosexual behavior or relationships.
According to Newsweek, the Mormon church has a long and controversial history. The church has historically supported anti-LGBTQ+ initiatives, including a ballot launched in 2008 that aimed to stop same-sex marriages from being legalized in California.
Similarly, the Mormon church also has a contentious relationship with people of color. For example, they had an official policy up until 1978 that banned Black people from entering their temples.
Green is the co-founder of AdECN, a demand-side marketing platform, which was later acquired by Microsoft in 2017. He’s also the co-founder of The Trade Desk, a buy-side digital advertising platform, of which he currently acts as the CEO and chairman.
According to Forbes, Green has a net worth of more than $5.3 billion, making the $600,000 a small dent in his fortune.
Sources: PEOPLE Magazine, Forbes, Newsweek,
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