Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Documents show links between Prop. 8 campaign and church leaders [Updated]

January 20, 2010 |  3:09 pm

Documents unveiled during today's federal same-sex marriage trial revealed close links between the Proposition 8 campaign and leaders of the Catholic and Mormon churches.

Over the objections of defenders of Proposition 8, challengers presented an e-mail that said the Catholic Church played a substantial role in providing volunteers and money to get the measure qualified for the ballot.

That e-mail, sent by the executive director of the Conference of Catholic Bishops to bishops and a cardinal, also said that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided "financial, organizational and management contributions" to the campaign.

[Corrected at 4:08 p.m.: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the e-mail was sent by a member of the executive committee of Protectmarriage.com.]

According to a Mormon Church document entered into evidence, the church was telling its members not to take the lead in promoting Proposition 8 but to support the measure through Protectmarriage.com.

The church document said a teleconference had been held in Salt Lake City with 159 of 161 Mormon leaders in California. The leaders were told to teach the church's beliefs about marriage and encourage members to contribute $30 each for Proposition 8, toward a projected goal of $5 million, in addition to general fundraising.

The challengers also presented a document that said Mormons were walking neighborhoods one day with 20,000 volunteers for Proposition 8, and that evangelicals organized teleconferences with as many as 3,000 pastors around the state in an effort to pass the marriage ban.

--Maura Dolan in the San Francisco federal courthouse