LDS Church to be Fined for Late Reports of Prop. 8 Funding

California’s Fair Political Practices Commission will likely fine the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints $5,538 for being late to report about $37,000 in non-monetary contributions to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign of 2010.

The FPPC inquiry was prompted in part by LGBT activist Fred Karger’s insistent allegations that the Church had misrepresented its contributions to the Yes on 8 campaign.

A statement from the LDS Newsroom clarified that the Church had not misrepresented its contributions but “mistakenly overlooked the daily reporting requirement for non-monetary contributions and instead reported those contributions together in a later filing.”

According to Mormonsfor8.com, an independent research project conceived and led by Mormons, the Church’s non-monetary contributions to the Yes on 8 campaign total $190,000.

The $37,000 at issue in the FPPC complaint and the $190,000 documented in-kind LDS donations constitute but a small fraction of the Mormon-affiliated fundraising for the Yes on 8 campaign through the Protect Marriage coalition.

Protect Marriage, the largest of the Yes on 8 fundraising vehicles, raised more than $40,000,000.  According to research by Mormonsfor8.com, at least half of this amount—about $20,000,000—was contributed by individual Mormons. Seven percent of the donations to the Yes on 8 campaign came from the state of Utah.

More than 18 months after the passage of Proposition 8 in November 2008, the LDS Church’s role in the campaign continues to draw intense scrutiny and arouse significant emotion.

askmormongirl@gmail.com'

Joanna Brooks is the author of The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith (Free Press / Simon & Schuster, 2012) and a senior correspondent for Religion Dispatches.