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Mormon Church insists its Proposition 8 donations were small

February 3, 2009 |  7:40 am

Gay The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contributed about $189,000 in "in-kind" donations to the campaign for the ballot measure that banned gay marriage in California -- but the church wants to make it clear that that wasn't such a large sum.

In a statement, church officials noted that the contributions were a tiny fraction of the roughly $4 million raised by the "Yes on Proposition 8" forces. (The number does not include church members who made individual donations.)

State election officials are looking into allegations by Prop. 8 foes that the church has under-reported its financial contributions to the gay-marriage fight. The latest campaign-donation disclosures, released this week, were normal filings and not related to the investigation, the church said.

The church, "like other organizations on both sides of the ballot issue, was required to publicly file these donations by the 31 January deadline," officials said in a statement. "The church has been filing required contribution reports throughout the campaign."

Focus on the Family donated $657,000 to "Yes on 8." Among big donors on the "No on Prop. 8" side: San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom ($20,000) and the California Democratic Central Committee (more than $350,000).

--Shelby Grad

Photo: Los Angeles Times