A billionaire – thought to be the richest man from Utah – announced he was donating $600,000 to a LGTBQ group and resigning from his Mormon church in a 900-word letter accusing the church of hindering the progress of civil rights and taking advantage of its members.
Jeff Green, CEO of Trade Desk, a software marketing company, sent the letter to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or commonly referred to as LDS, President Russell Nelson on Monday requesting the removal of his records, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
“I believe the Mormon church has hindered global progress in women’s rights, civil rights and racial equality, and LGBTQ+ rights,” Green wrote in the letter, according to the Tribune.
Green, who now resides in California, had been skeptical of Mormon practices for some time and drifted away from the church a decade ago, reports The Washington Post.
“Although I have deep love for many Mormons and gratitude for many things that have come into my life through Mormonism, I have not considered myself a member for many years and I’d like to make clear to you and others that I am not a member,” Green said in the letter obtained by the Tribune.
Green called into question the “more than $100 billion in assets” the church has and the “exploitation” of its members to “build shopping malls and temples.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints didn’t immediately reply to a USA TODAY request for comment.
“This money comes from people, often poor, who wholeheartedly believe you represent the will of Jesus. They give, expecting the blessing of heaven,” he wrote.
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Green wrote to Nelson that he believes most members of LDS are good people trying to do the right thing, but the church “is actively and currently doing harm in the world.”
In the letter, Green wrote that he was making a $600,000 donation to Equality Utah, a LGBTQ civil rights and advocacy group, on behalf of his family’s foundation.
Equality Utah hasn’t confirmed or commented on the donation.
“We made this investment sizable and publicly to send a message that Equality Utah isn’t going anywhere,” he wrote, according to The Tribune.
Green wrote the only contact he wants from the church is a letter acknowledging his is no longer a member.