Apparently, the government can tell churches what they can and can’t say and what social causes they can and can’t encourage their members to support financially.

The trouble started when Yakima Bishop Joseph Tyson sent a letter to pastors in 41 parishes last week asking them to announce a special collection that would go to Preserve Marriage Washington (that fights the same-sex marriage law that passed earlier this year).

Lori Anderson, spokeswoman for the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, says that no organization can be an intermediary for contribution. While the church can hand out envelopes, a member of Preserve Washington must collect them, or individuals must send them in themselves.