California commission fines Mormon church $5K for failing to report Prop 8 contributions

Posted on 11 Jun 2010 at 12:34pm
Fred Karger
Fred Karger

The California Fair Political Practices Commission has ordered the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to pay a $5,538 fine after the church failed to properly report its contributions — about $37,000 — to the 2008 campaign to pass Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that successfully amended the state’s Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

The vote happened in November 2008, about five months after the California State Supreme Court ruled that a ban on gay marriage violated the California Constitution.

The fine came in response to a complaint filed by Fred Karger, a California gay man who fought against Prop 8 and who earlier this year launched his own campaign for president.

According to the Los Angeles Times, a statement on the website on the Salt Lake City-based church’s website said it “unintentionally failed to file daily reports detailing approximately $37,000 in non-monetary contributions. The amount of contributions not reported represented the cost of staff time spent by church employees on activities to help the Yes on 8 committee during the final two weeks of the election.”

CBS News reports: “While the Fair Political Practices Commission could have assessed a $5,000 fine for each violation, it reportedly opted for a streamlined process that resulted in a deal with the church for the $5,539 fine.”

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