The chairman and chief executive officer of The Trade Desk, Jeff Green has departed The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the United States and has instead said he is donating $600,000 to Equality Utah, a LGBTQ rights organisation. Green, who is worth an estimated $4.9 billion, is said to have made this shift because of this church's spotty record on gender.
According to media reports, in a letter sent to the church, Green said he had left the church a decade ago, stating that the inistitution's wealth "unhealthy paradigms around gender roles" were key drivers for his departure. "I believe the Mormon church has hindered global progress in women's rights, civil rights and racial equality, and LGBTQ+ rights," the letter added.
A key reason for Green's departure appears to be how little the church has done with its wealth to drive significant societal change. "The church has been wealthy for many generations and yet doesn't do nearly as much as it could," Green said. "Given you claim to represent the will of God and act as a special witness of Jesus, the Mormon church should be doing more to help the world and its members with its wealth." The New York Times, citing SEC data, stated that including an investment fund, this church had $48 billion worth of stocks.
In a letter dated December 23 to Russel M Nelson, president of this church, the Trade Desk chief said this church had “more than $100 billion in assets,” but did little to help the world at large. Instead, the church has "exploited its members and their need for hope to build temples, build shopping malls, and cattle ranches… rather than alleviating human suffering in or out of the church.”
Acording to a report in The Salt Lake Tribune, which first reported this story, half of Green's donation will go to a new scolarship program to aid LGBTQ+ students in Utah. According to this news report, Equality Utah and the church were partners advocating for and passing the Utah compromise, a nondiscrimination law that protects against employment and housing discrimination for LGBTQ individuals in the state while safeguarding some religious freedoms.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has not yet publicly responded to Green's letter.