LDS Church fined for tardy financial reports during Prop 8

Posted by Rosemary Winters on

"The LDS Church has agreed to pay a fine to California for failing to report, on time, contributions the Utah-based faith made in fall 2008 to help overturn the freedom to marry in the Golden State.

"The California Fair Political Practices Commission's staff has determined the LDS Church violated the state's political-contributions law in the days leading up to passage of Proposition 8. The agency has proposed a $5,539 fine, representing 15 percent of the $36,928 in contributions to the 'Yes on 8' campaign that the LDS Church did not report on time.

"The commission will vote Thursday on whether to approve the penalty.

... "Fred Karger, who filed the original complaint with the commission, said Tuesday the fine validates his allegations that the LDS Church tried to 'cover up' its role in banning marriage equality in California.

"'They have absolutely every right -- as any religious organization, any individual, any business owner, union, whomever -- to be involved,' he said. 'But they must comply with the law if they are going to be involved in politics. That's what they've been covering up.'

... "The Human Rights Campaign, a national gay-rights group, praised the commission and Karger.

"'It's just not credible that a multibillion-dollar, sophisticated organization like the LDS Church didn't know or understand the election-law requirements,' Joe Solmonese, HRC president, said in a statement. 'California requires early disclosure so voters know who's behind these referendum fights and, clearly, the Mormon Church worked overtime to keep their full involvement hidden from the people of California.'"

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