Mormon Church Gets Slap On The Wrist For Illegally Contributing Tens of Thousands To Prop 8

There’s very little the Mormon Church can do to surprise anyone these days (short of raping children, but the Catholics already have that covered). So is it any surprise that they failed to report their last-minute financial contributions to the Yes on 8 campaign? No? Well is it any more surprising that the California Fair Political Practices Commission only fined the church $5,538 for failing to report tens of thousands in electoral financing? No? The meager fine all but ensures sketchy Mormon involvement in the next stateside gay marriage vote, because why be honest when you can pay to avoid transparency? Thanks a lot, Heavenly Father.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #finances #lds #mormonchurch stories and more


  • Jason

    We need a good Mormon gay sex scandal involving senior church leadership.

    Something that involves the magic underwear, roofies and the white sex trade.

  • Cam

    This is not the first time that the Mormon church has been caught illegally influencing politics. I’m curious, just how many times do they have to break the law before they are made to take responsibility for their actions?

  • Cam

    This is something a friend of mine, raised Mormon wrote….

    Any one surprised by the Mormon political interfearence has never paid attention to the LDS Church. They have operated Utah as a theocracy since arriving in Salt Lake Valley July 24, 1847. In more recent times, they exerted enormous effort to defeat ERA in the 1970s.

    The church has been directly involved in antigay politics since the mid-1990s. They wrote amicus briefs in the Hawaii case, and then wrote large checks totally over $1 million in both Hawaii and Alaska to defeat pro-gay marriage propositions. When the church was cited by the IRS for giving tax-free money to a political cause, they were slapped on the wrist and decided on this more indirect method of organizing members to fund raise for these causes. This has been documented in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado to push antigay initiatives and petition drives, using church membership rolls and even Sunday School meeting presentations as a venue to organize political action.

    The only thing really surprising is that the church thought that their Califormia methods would go unnoticed. You can’t be the primary force pushing against gay rights in the largest state in the union without someone figuring it out. The public backlash is only going to force the LDS Church to think of new, more insidious ways of pushing its theocratic agenda.

  • Jaroslaw

    Real penalties for violating rules seemingly only apply to me! As many may know, I work for social services and the stuff that goes on here (fraud) is amazing. We are so overworked you can’t even find the time to do fraud referrals but I found out even if you do, the prosecutors dismiss almost all of them. And those are the ones submitted AFTER the fraud unit vets, investigates and makes sure they have solid evidence. Still dismissed.

    The rules only apply to some people, ultimately and what is new about that?

  • Toby


    I would love a calendar of mormon guys wearing their magic underwear…

  • JDD

    Actually, you are mistaken. The LDS Church was not fined because it failed to report money spent. It was fined because it failed to meet the daily deadlines to report money spent in the days before the vote. In fact, all money was reported. They just didn’t meet the deadline.

  • Robert, NYC

    I’ve been espousing this for years. If religious cults meddle in the political process they should forfeit their tax-exempt status immediately. The problem is, no politician worth his salt would ever go near this one. We as a group should start a movement to do just that.

  • Cam

    @JDD: said…
    “Actually, you are mistaken. The LDS Church was not fined because it failed to report money spent. It was fined because it failed to meet the daily deadlines to report money spent in the days before the vote. In fact, all money was reported. They just didn’t meet the deadline.”

    Typical Mormon Liar. If what you say is true, then why isn’t your church suing the LA Times? Because it very clearly states in the article that the church was fined for “failing to report”, not “Failing to report in a timely manner”.

    This is nothing new, the Mormons are the one church who refuse to open up their books to the IRS. Why is that?

  • Robert, NYC

    Cam No. 10, I agree with you. This only bolsters my argument that religious cults interfering in politics and elections should be made to forfeit their tax-exempt status. They threw more than $20 million to make Prop. H8 succeed. If that’s not direct interference by a religious cult in an election, I don’t know what is. I suspect the IRS isn’t pursuing the probe of their books aggressively because they’ll be accused of religious persecution. The IRS of course has every right to demand that the cult opens it books since it pays NO taxes at our expense. I wonder how it wrote off the $20 million+? The roman cult is yet another that needs a full investigation by the IRS. It donated more than $1 million via its frontmen in the Knights of Columbus.

  • Jaroslaw

    Robert NYC – I wish all religions would get out of the political arena, but I hardly think the Catholic Church lied about its involvement with this issue nor did the Knights of Columbus nor are the Knights frontmen. They and any other group can advocate for issues legally (but not candidates). But the Mormons did lie, deliberately didn’t meet deadlines etc.

    I also hope the IRS wouldn’t back down due to claims of religions persecution, it would seem this is either a clear cut case of violating the law or not. That is a pretty small fine for a group that spent $20 Million…

  • Queer Supremacist

    @Jaroslaw: Some religions deserve persecution. The Mormons are one of them. The Papists are another. In fact, anyone who worships a convicted felon (Jesus) or a child molester (Mohammed) should be taxed 100% of their income.

  • Robert, NYC

    Jaroslaw No. 12, my bone of contention is that religious cults should be banned from donating money when it comes to anything political. If not, then they should be forced to pay their fair share of taxes. They are of course forbidden to support a candidate but they circumvent the law by instructing their adherents to support only those candidates who support their beliefs and views without naming a specific candidate. It stinks.

    Queer Supremacist, No. 13….I agree with you. Some do most certainly deserve persecution/discrimination just as they do to us. The mormons, the right wingers in the roman cult, southern baptists, right wing evangelical cults, orthodox judaism and of course islam deserve nothing less than persecution. What they believe in is their concern, but don’t bring it into the political arena or try to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us or influencing the outcome of legislation. Then it becomes nothing more than hatred of one specific group of people. If we formed a movement to remove their their tax-exempt status they’d play the victim as they always do, screaming discrimination, persecution of course. They’re nothing more than bigots and hypocrites of the worst kind, masters of the double-standard. A bunch of psychopaths if you ask me.

  • jim

    Um, well queerty is a little biased and will never present both sides fairly. If you read any other article on this story you’ll learn a lot more than queerty wants you too.

  • Cam

    No. 15 · jim
    Um, well queerty is a little biased and will never present both sides fairly. If you read any other article on this story you’ll learn a lot more than queerty wants you too.

    Another Mormon Lie. I went directly to the LA Times article. So which is it? Is the LA Times lying? If so then why hasn’t your church demanded a retraction? Oh, thats right, because the Mormons will ALWAYS play the victim. Your typical behavior, claim something is wrong, but don’t give a direct link to anything resembling proof.

  • jim

    Try this one out for example

  • Caligari

    I believe the Mormon church also ‘laundered’ church money through private individuals in order to bypass donation rules. If you look at the donations to Yes On 8 and do a little research, you’ll discover that many Mormon households without large salary earnings somehow managed to donate significant amounts of money to the Yes campaign. Either they scrimped and saved for years in anticipation of just such a “worthy” cause or the money came from elsewhere.

  • Jaroslaw

    #14 Robert – I don’t know if prohibiting religion from donating to promote a position is practical alternative. What I’m thinking about is the slavery issue in the last part of the 19th century, Churches did a lot to make that illegal. I’m not saying that I’m doing a complete analysis, I just can’t think of anything else right now. I think maybe it is kind of a free speech issue. I did know what your bone of contention was/is and my point was the Catholic Church and K of C’s didn’t lie about their involvement.

    For whatever their failings, most Churches do a tremendous amount of good in their communities such as sheltering the homeless, helping out pregnant teens, prison ministries etc. It is hard to imagine the large number of people that Churches get being motivated to feed the hungry etc. by other philosophies.

    I think a much bigger problem in our society is the fact that almost no politician stands for what he claims to at election time. For example, if Congress needed to figure out health insurance before got it, that problem would be solved in two weeks. Look at the stuff the HMO’s got away with in California (Kaiser) and other places rationing care, giving doctors bonuses for withholding care, patient dumping. I’m not ragging only on the health care industry, but this is such a prime example of nonsense that Congress allows day after day after day.

  • dane

    Ive seen the propostion 8 video and i must say this is all fabricated to damage the works of God,nothing can stop the marvelous works of God and to those people who did the video you should have research more for what you said is totally false,i am a Latter Day Saints or mormon for those who is not very familiar. The Doctrines in the video is not really the teachings in the church,the church is perfect but the member is not,there are still the ones who do something against the law of God and that is their choices so just be strong for the consequence

Comments are closed.