Metro Weekly

LGBTQ activist creates South Park parody to criticize Mormon church’s tax status

Fred Karger is challenging the church after it described LGBTQ people as "apostates"

Salt Park — Photo: Mormon Tips / YouTube

An LGBTQ activist has created a parody of South Park that criticizes the Mormon church’s tax-exempt status.

Fred Karger’s “Salt Park,” a spoof of the long-running Comedy Central series, is a five-episode animated series intended to highlight the many properties that the anti-LGBTQ church owns.

Karger, who in 2012 became the first openly gay presidential candidate, said he wants to hold the Mormon church accountable for its tax-exempt status, which he believes is violated by their numerous business holdings.

“I want to point out the vast wealth of the Mormon church,” Karger told The Salt Lake Tribune. “People may be aware of the church’s ownership of City Creek Center, but not much beyond that. That was an eye-opener for me when I started this, to see just how vast a business empire they have.”

The Salt Park kids — Dan, Lyle, Benny and Carmine — will set out on a field trip each episode to locations such as The Deseret Ranch in Florida, a high-rise apartment building in New York, and the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii, all owned and operated by the church and all tax-exempt.

The episodes will also feature notable Mormon figures such as Joseph Smith, Mitt Romney, and Mormon apostle Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Krager has been trying to find ways to expose the religion after the Mormon church heavily backed California’s Prop 8 ballot measure, which revoked same-sex marriage in the state.

“Ever since Prop 8, people have encouraged me to go after their taxes, but I never felt comfortable enough to do it,” Krager said. That all changed after a policy was established in 2015 by the church that would brand LGBTQ members in same-sex relationships “apostates.”

“I thought I really needed to go after something that’s sacred to them, and that’s their tax status,” he said.

A Mormon church spokesman told to the Salt Lake Tribune that the church “won’t have anything to offer” in response to the series.

Watch the trailer for the series below:

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!