Gay activists allege the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) was behind passage of
Proposition 8 from the start and illegally concealed that involvement
to the public and California officials.
Californians Against Hate founder Fred
Karger says he has filed a supplemental complaint with the California
Fair Political Practices Commission urging it to investigate Mormon
involvement in the passage of Proposition 8 – the narrowly passed
ballot initiative that yanked back the right of gay and lesbian
couples to marry in California.
Karger alleges the Mormon Church is the
mastermind puppeteer behind the National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the Maggie Gallagher-led group responsible for placing
Proposition 8 on the ballot.
“[T]he Mormon Church established the
National Organization for Marriage (NOM) as its California front
group in the summer of 2007 for the sole purpose of qualifying and
passing Proposition 8 in 2008,” the 9-page complaint reads.
In making his case, Karger says the
Mormon's modeled NOM after a similar campaign waged in Hawaii ten
years earlier. In Hawaii, a state Supreme Court ruling that sided
with gay marriage advocates was quickly trumped when opponents added
a state constitutional amendment that defined marriage as a
heterosexual union. Leading the charge for the amendment was the
Mormon-funded Hawaii's Future Today.
NOM has since expanded into seven more
states where gay marriage is currently being debated, including the
four New England states of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and Rhode
Karger's complaint methodically reveals
connections between Mormon leaders, who say they only spent $190,000
in support of Prop. 8, NOM and the Yes-On-8 campaign. Including
Mormon leaders Matthew S. Holland and Robby George serving on the NOM
board of directors.
The charges have far-reaching
implications. Karger's original complain was based on allegations of
financial underreporting. He asserted the church failed to report
massive non-monetary contributions to the Yes-On-8 campaign. Among
the violations cited were the costs of
get-out-the-vote phone banks in Utah and Idaho, various
mailings to voters, transportation services, marketing materials –
professionally produced commercials hosted on websites available to
the public included – and at least two satellite broadcasts over
five western states.
But the supplemental complaint goes far
beyond that original assertion. It clearly states that the Mormon
Church was at the epicenter of the effort to re-ban gay marriage in
California and illegally camouflaged that involvement to officials.
“If the Mormon Church did finance NOM with the intent to deceive,” Karger told On Top Magazine,
“then that would be a criminal – not civil – offense.”
Karger and his group have set up a
website at www.mormongate.com
dedicated to the issue.