Question: Did the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) contribute money to the "Yes on 8" campaign?

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Question: Did the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) contribute money to the "Yes on 8" campaign?

The Church as an institution made no direct monetary contributions to the "Yes on 8" campaign

All monetary donations came from individual Church members, who decided if and how much they would contribute.

The Church did, however, make several in-kind donations

These are reported by the California Secretary of State's website (last accessed January 31, 2009). There are a number of donations by the Church in the report, all non-monetary:

The following information was taken from the Church Newsroom press release Media Reports on Proposition 8 Filing Uninformed:

Date Amount Report form How report was filed Additional information
30 July 2008 $19,831.40 (in-kind) 461 Filed by mail (This report covers the time period from 1 January 2008 to 30 June 2008.)
25 October 2008 $2,078.97 (in-kind) 497 Filed by fax
30 October 2008 $333.00 (in-kind) 497 Filed by fax
1 November 2008 (See additional information) 497 Filed by fax (Amendment to 30 October filing; did not represent any additional contribution)
1 November 2008 $2,531.20 (in-kind) 497 Filed by fax
15 January 2009 $30,354.85 (in-kind) 497 Filed by fax
Sub Total: $55,129.42
30 January 2009 $134,774.16 (in-kind) Plus the $55,129.42 sub total 461 Filed electronically (This report covers the time period from 1 July 2008 to 31 December 2008.)
Grand Total: $189,903.58 (in-kind)

Contributions may be verified in the California Secretary of State California Filings Searchable Database, although the Church has pointed out that not all contributions have yet been entered in the database by the State of California.

The in-kind donations, which were not in the form of cash, were to cover out-of-pocket expenses

The term "in-kind" represents donations that are made to the Church in some form other than cash (For example, the payment of tithing using stock constitutes an in-kind donation). In this case, the in-kind donations were to cover out-of-pocket expenses. The Church declared these donations, as required by law, and they are part of the public record.

Some news outlets reported on January 30 the Church's final contribution report as $180,000 [1] or $190,000. [2] Speculation regarding the reason for this last filing prompted the Church to issue a press release:

On Friday, 30 January, the Church filed the final report of its contributions (all of which were non-monetary) to the ProtectMarriage.com coalition. The report, submitted in advance of the 31 January deadline, details in-kind donations totaling $189,903.58.

The value of the Church’s in-kind (non-monetary) contribution is less than one half of one percent of the total funds (approximately $40 million) raised for the “Yes on 8” campaign. The Church did not make any cash contribution.

The press release goes on to respond to specific accusations made by the media regarding this final report. For the full press release, see Church Clarifies Proposition 8 Filing, Corrects Erroneous News Reports, Feb. 2, 2009.

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Notes

  1. Jessica Garrison, Mormon church reports spending $180,000 on Proposition 8, Los Angeles Times (Jan. 30, 2009).
  2. John Wildermuth, Mormon church reports $190,000 Prop. 8 expenses, San Francisco Chronicle (Jan. 31, 2009).