Monday, February 1, 2010

75% of donations for Prop 8 from Mormons

Religion Dispatches carries the story of the LDS (Mormon) involvement of Prop 8:
On Wednesday, January 20, in a federal courthouse in San Francisco, plaintiffs in the Perry vs. Schwarzenegger trial challenging the legality of California’s Proposition 8 introduced two documents (over strenuous objections from the defense) indicating close but cautious coordination between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Yes on 8 campaign.

The documents, according to plaintiffs’ witness Gary Segura, a professor of political science at Stanford University, indicated a desire on the part of the Church to create “plausible deniability or respectable distance between the church organization per se and the actual campaign.”

Segura’s words soon rippled across the gay blogosphere, as trial watchers from The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan to Julia Rosen of the California-based Courage Campaign latched onto the phrase “plausible deniability” as an “explosive” indictment of the Mormon Church’s allegedly behind-the-scenes relationship to the Proposition 8 campaign.
But to Mormons in California—both those who supported the Yes on 8 campaign and those who opposed it—the relationship between the church and the Proposition 8 campaign has always been undeniable.

When will anyone challenge their tax exempt status?


dr.primrose said...

Under the IRS rules, churches (and other non-profits) may not support candidates. They are permitted, however, to support or oppose legislation. Propositions and initiatives are considered legislation that is enacted by the voters rather than the legislature.

TEC does legislative lobbying, though on a much lesser scale. I don't think we want to change these rules, however obnoxious we find the lobbying efforts of other religious groups.

What I think is important here is the lack of transparency and the intentional hiding of their lobbying efforts. Religious organizations, no matter who they are, doing things in the dark, no matter what they are, almost always end up acting in un-Christian ways.

What needs to be done here, I think, is requiring more disclosure of this kind of behavior.

it's margaret said...

And, it would seem, SCOTUS would probably say it is alright.... to buy legislation... I mean, it's alright to buy candidates...

David said...

Tell the Mormons to leave us the feck alone!

Heck, I don't try & influence how they run things at the temple in Salt Lake, do I ?!