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(RNS) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will pay a
$5,000 fine for not reporting non-monetary contributions in support of
Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.
The California Fair Political Practices Commission concluded the
church “failed to timely report making late non-monetary contributions
totaling $36,928” during the November 2008 election. It assessed a
penalty of $5,539.
In a Tuesday (June 8) statement, the church acknowledged a reporting
error.
“In the last two weeks leading up to the election, the Church
mistakenly overlooked the daily reporting requirement for non-monetary
contributions and instead reported those contributions together in a
later filing,” it said.
“The Church appreciates the fairness and consideration with which
the Fair Political Practices Commission has addressed this oversight.”
The church said the money related to staff time used by church
employees to support the Protect Marriage coalition’s “Yes on 8”
initiative during the last two weeks before the election.
The Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization, hailed the
penalty, which was scheduled to be finalized at a commission meeting on
Thursday (June 10).
“While the recommended fine of just more than $5,500 for the
unreported late contributions of $36,968 to the Yes on 8 campaign may
seem inconsequential, it represents a pattern of blatant disregard for
California election laws and provides ongoing evidence that the Mormon
Church was a significant leader in the campaign to repeal marriage
equality, even while it evaded standard reporting requirements and
denied its involvement,” the group said.
The LDS church denied any intentional wrongdoing.
“Claims that the Church misrepresented its contributions to the
Protect Marriage Coalition are false,” it said.
— Adelle M. Banks
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of
this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written
permission.

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