The final bill for Proposition 8
arrived Monday, it topped $83 million, according to campaign filings.
That is the largest tab ever for a social measure in the nation's
Proposition 8 overturned a May
California Supreme Court ruling that allowed gay and lesbian couples
to marry in the state by constitutionally defining marriage as a
heterosexual union. Fifty-two percent of voters approved the
amendment on November 4. Gay marriage supporters have filed several
lawsuits asking the state Supreme Court to invalidate the measure,
while opponents are seeking to nullify about 18,000 gay marriages
performed during the June-to-November window.
The final filing details more than $28
million last-minute donations by companies, individuals and churches.
The documents show proponents of gay
marriage with a slight monetary edge. They raised $43.3 million in
2008, while Proposition 8 supporters raised $39.9 million.
Several prominent Democrats gave
generously to the No-on-8 campaign. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom
donated $20,000 from his 2010 exploratory committee for governor.
Newsom, a strong supporter of gay marriage, infuriated opponents when
he first allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry in San Francisco
during the winter of 2004. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also donated
$20,000 from her re-election account.
A January 30 report by the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) lists more than
$190,000 in expenses by the church in support of California's gay
Mormon leaders had previously recorded
only $2,078 in contributions.
In November, the California Fair
Political Practices Commission agreed to investigate a complaint by
Californians Against Hate, a gay rights group that pushed for full
disclosure of monetary support of Prop. 8, that alleged numerous
contribution violations to the campaign to ban gay marriage by the
Utah-based Mormon Church.
Church leaders have previously denied
any monetary involvement in the campaign, saying their members acted
of their own accord in sending millions – by some estimates more
than $25 million – to fight for the gay ban.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints put zero money in this [the passage of Prop. 8],”
Don Eaton, a Mormon Church spokesman, told KGO TV, an ABC affiliate
Church leaders justified their $190,000
in-kind contribution by saying it represented a tiny fraction of
“The value of the Church's in-kind
contribution is less than one-half of one percent of the total funds
raised for the Yes on 8 campaign,” Kim Farah, a church spokeswoman,
told The Associated Press.
The church filing lists tens of
thousands of dollars for expenses such as airline tickets and hotels
for its leaders, along with nearly $97,000 paid to church employees.
“They said they reported all their
travel,” Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate, told
the Los Angeles Times, “now, when there is a [complaint
filed] they disclose 25 Southwest tickets just in October. They were
required to report this [in an earlier filing].”
Focus on the Family, the Colorado
Springs-based evangelical group led by Rev. James Dobson, reported
over $650,000 in cash and services in support of the anti-gay
The names of about 530 late donors were
also made public on Monday. Previously, the measure's backers had
sued to keep the names secret, but on Thursday a federal judge ruled
ProtectMarriage.com and the National
Organization for Marriage, the principal backers of Prop 8, had
argued that the anonymity was necessary because donors were being
harassed. U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. disagreed. Much
of the harassment alleged in the complaint turned out to be First
Amendment protected free speech, such as boycotts and protests, the