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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Advocate: Mormons Investigated on Prop. 8 Funding

The California Fair Political Practices Commission will investigate the Mormon Church's allegedly unreported contributions to the campaign to eliminate marriage equality in the state.

Independent group Californians Against Hate filed with the commission after Proposition 8 was passed on November 4, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Organization leader Fred Karger charges that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not report investments in phone banking, direct mailers, transportation into California for out-of-state Mormon volunteers, commercials, video broadcasts, and a mobile speakers bureau.

Karger said this step by the commission is a good sign, since the commission takes on less than 5% of complaints. While Roman Porter, the commission's executive director, said the move isn't indicative of anything, he added that the church could be fined up to $5,000 per violation if found at fault.

Californians Against Hate calculated in October that LDS followers had contributed more than $24 million in support of gay marriage bans in California and Arizona.

The LDS Church says it has approximately 770,000 members in California, accounting for about 2% of the state's population. (Michelle Garcia, The Advocate)

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